Teams have been busy recruiting and also re-signing players with today seeing Huddersfield Giants sign Australian half-back Adam Clune, whilst Hull FC have tonight confirmed that they have re-signed Fijian international Mitieli Vulikijapani.
It marks another key piece of business for the club who have already made a key statement in their signings thus far with the intention of developing a stronger pack.
Keeping hold of the Fijian international, who plays in the centres, means that they retain that size in their outside backs as well as within their pack.
Vulikijapani is currently injured having had to undergo surgery on an injured ACL but the club have backed him and re-signed him for a further year.
Hull FC confirmed the re-signing via their website: “Hull FC are pleased to confirm that Fijian international Mitieli Vulikijapani will remain with the Black & Whites during the 2024 Betfred Super League season.
“Vulikijapani has signed for another year with the club, having scored eight tries in 24 appearances since joining the club in 2021 – giving Tony Smith another strong outside-back option.
“Proving himself to be a strong ball-runner and tough tackler, the British Army Gunner, who serves with the 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, Vulikijapani, has been granted permission to extend his time with the club by a further year.
“With the army at heart, the powerful outside back was originally scouted representing the army in rugby union, and he switched codes again in 2022 to proudly represent the Army in the Babcock Trophy victory over the Royal Navy at Twickenham.
“Despite his 2023 campaign being curtailed by an ACL injury at Easter, Vulikijapani is now well on his way to recovery and is expected to return to full fitness in the coming months ahead of his return to action in 2024.”
Speaking to hullfc.com, Vulikijapani said: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue playing for the club, which has always been really supportive of me ever since I arrived.
“Personally, I just can’t wait to be back on the field with the boys because it’s been a frustrating year with not a lot of game time due to my injury.
“I’m working really hard on my return and I hope to come back even better than I was before my injury.
“Pre-season is not long away now and I’ve got my mind set on having a really good campaign and going strong into the 2024 season.”
Hull FC head coach, Tony Smith, added: “Now that Mitch has had his operation, we’re really hopeful that he can return and get back to the level of competing that we know he is capable of.
“He’s a good size and he’s got good skill – two things I always look out for.
“It was a frustrating year for him, but when Mitch completes his recovery, he’ll provide us with some good versatility in the back line, with him being able to play at both centre and on the wing.”