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Franklin Pele signs for shock new club following Hull FC exit

Franklin Pele

Hull FC’s Super League season received a shot in the arm at the weekend, as they registered just their second win of the season against the Leeds Rhinos. The win was their first in 11 games in all competitions and was reward for a general improvement in performances in recent weeks. 

The win is set against the context of a broader rebuild at the club. Since Tony Smith departed as Head Coach in April and Richie Myler joined the club as Sporting Director, FC have set about dismantling and rebuilding an under-performing squad.

With new Head Coach, John Cartwright, set to join the club in 2025 the club stands on the verge of sweeping change. This is not just restricted to new signings, such as John Asiata. The club are also working on offloading a number of players who have failed to live up to expectations with the club.

Franklin Pele was one of those players, and it was announced yesterday that he would leave the club with immediate effect. Now, Pele has secured his future by joining a surprise new club.

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Franklin Pele joins surprise new club

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Bradford Bulls confirmed the signing of Pele on the day of his departure from Hull FC. Pele will take up a contract with the club until the end of the season. The signing of Pele provides a major boost to the Bulls as they look to challenge at the top of the Championship. Bradford currently sit fifth in the table, eight points behind leaders Wakefield Trinity.

A club statement from the Bulls confirmed the signing. The statement read:

“Bradford Bulls are delighted to announce the signing of explosive former NRL forward Franklin Pele on a deal until the end of the season – subject to international clearance!

“The New Zealand-born 23-year-old featured for Cronulla Sharks and Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia’s premier competition before joining Super League outfit Hull FC prior to the start of 2024.

“Pele also enjoyed a brief loan spell at York Knights, scoring a try and playing a key role in the Knights’ comeback win against Swinton Lions last month.”

Pele is the third big name to join the Bulls in recent weeks. The club have taken Pele’s former Hull team-mate, Jayden Okunbor, on loan. They also signed former NRL forward, Logan Bayliss-Brow on a two and a half year deal.

Bulls coach O’Carroll delighted to bring in powerful forward

Eamon O'Carroll

Credit: Imago Images

Head Coach Eamon O’Carroll expressed his delight at being able to bring a player of Pele’s stature to the club at this stage in the Championship season.

“We’re delighted to have been able to bring in someone of Franklin’s size and quality to boost our squad at such a crucial stage of the season.

“Having lost a couple of bodies last weekend, it was really important we looked to strengthen and once we heard of Franklin’s availability, we moved quick to secure his services.

“He certainly brings power and size to our middle unit and his quality was evident for all to see during his loan spell with York earlier this season.

“Like with Jayden Okunbor, we are happy to offer Franklin this opportunity and we look forward to helping him to get a smile back on his face and being the best version of himself in a Bradford shirt.”

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