Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants have all completed major NRL signings for the next Super League season.
Matt Frawley, Lachie Miller, Kruise Leeming, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Peta Hiku and Jack Murchie have all been signed and Morgan Harper, Brenko Lee and Adam Clune are all said to be on their way.
One busy club has been Hull FC starting with Herman Ese’ese and now they are said to be battling with Catalans Dragons for Tristan Sailor from the Brisbane Broncos according to the Hull Daily Mail whilst the Mole of the Wide World of Sports has reported a number of clubs are talking to him.
Hull recently signed Franklin Pele. The powerful 22-year-old front-rower joins Hull FC on a two-year deal from Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Standing at 6ft 3in tall, weighing 120kg, and with great leg speed, Pele has the potential to be one of Super League’s most exciting ball-carriers next season.
First recognised in the UK in 2018 whilst playing for Australia Schoolboys against an England Academy side captained by Hull FC’s Cam Scott, Pele has also made a big impression on the other side of the globe, featuring in the New South Wales Cup, where he has scored 16 tries in 34 matches.
Pele has earned a reputation of being a destructive ball-carrier with a record of 35 tackle busts in 9 matches this year, whilst he has also averaged over 100 metres per game and 10 metres per carry.
He made his NRL debut for Cronulla Sharks in 2021, leaving a good impression on former Hull FC forward Craig Fitzgibbon, now Head Coach in the Shire.
Since moving to the Bulldogs this year, Pele has continued his NRL progression, featuring in impressive wins for Canterbury against Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys, whilst working with another former Black & White forward, Mark O’Meley, who is now part of Canterbury’s coaching staff.
At the Bulldogs this season, Pele has made an impressive 145 post-contact metres, whilst also contributing 14 tackle busts in just six matches.
Despite his towering presence, the Kiwi prop forward will also add speed to Hull’s pack in 2024, where he will line-up alongside fellow new NRL imports Herman Ese’ese and Jayden Okunbor.
Whilst Pele was not on the market this year due to being under contract with Canterbury, Hull FC have worked tirelessly to make the move a reality, despite an eagerness from the Bulldogs to retain his services, and stiff competition from other clubs.
Speaking on his reason for signing with the Black & Whites, Pele said: “I’m really excited because it’s going to be a good challenge for me. I can’t wait to come over and meet all of the boys and the Hull fans, who I have heard great things about.
“I’m at the stage in my career now where I need to be playing consistent footy. Coming up against tough opposition in Super League week in, week out will help me go from strength to strength.
“Having spoken to Tony Smith and James Clark at the club, I know how much of an opportunity Hull FC is for me to be able to reach my full potential.”
As Hull’s pack begins to take shape for the 2024 season, Head Coach Tony Smith added: “A big part of Franklin coming over to Hull FC is his appetite to play regular Rugby League, and we’re extremely excited to have him in our ranks for 2024. He’s certainly a player our fans can get excited about.
“He’s a young, hungry forward who wants to establish himself as a good Rugby League player, which he already is, but he wants to keep growing.
“Franklin certainly adds size to our pack. He’s powerful, destructive and he’s got a good skillset. So he fits a lot of the right criteria that we have been looking for ahead of next year.
“I’m really looking forward to him bringing all of those ingredients to our team in 2024.”