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Hull FC sort out future of fan favourite

Ligi Sao has signed a new deal at Hull FC.

The forward will remain with Hull FC until at least the end of the 2023 campaign after impressing since his arrival last year.

Sao has been one of the stand-out performers over the last two seasons, missing just two games in 2021 as he led the charge alongside Player of the Year, Chris Satae.

Both Sao and Satae are amongst the high profile names to put pen to paper on new deals at the club, including Man of Steel nominee Jake Connor, Tonga star Manu Ma’u and new signings Darnell McIntosh and Joe Lovodua.

Speaking on the decision to extend his stay at the MKM Stadium, Sao said: “The new contract takes me into my third and fourth year at the club, and I couldn’t be happier to be extending my stay here.

“Me and my family are settled here in Hull, and both them and myself being happy is really helping my performances on the field – I feel like I put my best foot forward last season, and have still got more to give for this club.”

He added: “As a squad, we weren’t where we wanted to be last season, but we understand as a group where we went wrong and have regrouped going into 2022.

“Everyone has had to face some harsh truths in recent weeks, but I firmly believe the changes being made are putting the building blocks in place for us to make improvements next season, and I’m really happy to continue to be a part of this group.”

Having joined from NRL outfit New Zealand Warriors ahead of the 2020 campaign, shortly after representing his nation in the Rugby League World Cup 9s, Sao has gone on to make 40 appearances for the club across the last two years.

The forward’s committed style has made him a fans’ favourite at Hull FC, and head coach Brett Hodgson believes there is more to come from the 29-year-old.

“Ligi is one of the first names on the team sheet every week, and his consistency on the field over the last season shows you exactly why – he’s a really important asset to our pack, and the group as a whole,” he said.

“He brings energy and enthusiasm to the group, which to us in terms of culture is just as important as his ability with the ball in his hands.

“I’m certain there’s still more to come from him over the next two seasons having seen vast improvements in his game over the course of the last 18 months.”

He added, “Ligi is another important name tied down for 2022 amongst our forwards, alongside the likes of Chris Satae, Manu Ma’u, Andre Savelio, Joe Cator and new signing Joey Lovodua – and we’re hoping to add to that.”

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