The likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull KR have confirmed some major signings as have Hull FC who have confirmed the signing of New Zealand international Fa’amanu Brown for the 2024 Betfred Super League season.
The 28-year old Kiwi, who has recently been selected to join the New Zealand squad for their upcoming Autumn internationals, has signed a one-year deal with the Black & Whites.
Joining the club from Newcastle Knights, the Christchurch-born half-back will bring experience and depth to Hull’s spine options next season having spent the last ten seasons in the NRL since his senior debut back in 2014, enjoyed spells with Cronulla Sharks, Canterbury Bulldogs and West Tigers.
A Samoan international through his family heritage, ‘Nu’ has eight international appearances under his belt including in both the 2017 and 2021 Rugby League World Cups, featuring in Samoa’s dramatic 27-26 Semi-Final victory over England at the Emirates Stadium last season alongside new teammate Ligi Sao.
Brown started at hooker in that game – a position he is also capable of filling in at, as well as loose-forward, bringing some impressive versatility and utility value to Tony Smith’s side.
He enjoyed a brief spell in the UK during the 2021 season with Featherstone Rovers, playing a key role at half back as he lead the side to the Betfred Championship Grand Final with 16 tries in 25 appearances throughout the season – one of the competition’s stand-out players during the campaign, as well as starting at half-back in their 1895 Cup success over York at Wembley Stadium.
With a strong defensive attitude and some lethal ability close to the try-line, Brown become’s Hull FC’s ninth signing ahead of the 2024 campaign, joining overseas recruits Franklin Pele and Jayden Okunbor, his former Bulldogs teammates, and former Samoan teammate Herman Ese’ese, as well as domestic recruits Liam Tindall, Jack Ashworth, Morgan Smith, Jack Walker and Frenchman Damel Diakhate.
Brown will link up with the Airlie Birds following the conclusion of New Zealand’s autumn international fixtures against Samoa and Australia.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Brown said: “I’m really privileged to be joining Hull FC. Something I have always wanted to do throughout my career is stamp my name on the Super League competition and I’m just so excited for the opportunity.
“I’ve watched a fair bit of Super League on TV whilst I’ve been in Australia and I kept up with it whilst I was at Featherstone in the Championship. The fans over in England are crazy!
“I’ve had a really good chat with Tony Smith and we just clicked straight away. To be honest, we didn’t chat about footy that much. It was mostly about life away from footy and he said that if everything is looking after itself off-the-field, then you’ve got a good chance of performing at your best on the field. I think that’s part of having a successful team.
He continued: “I debuted in the NRL at five-eighth and I’ve played a bit of hooker. But like I said to Tony, wherever you put me I will do a job and I’m willing to die for the club whose colours I wear on my back.
“With the forward pack the club has in 2024, it’s going to be fun to play behind those guys. You’ve got to expect some quick play-the-balls and it’s about playing what you see from those. It’s exciting for us guys in the halves and it’s going to be just as exciting for some of the talented outside backs at the club to play off.
“I’ve certainly done my research on all of the boys, and all of the guys coming over from Australia are people I have played with before, so I’m looking forward to linking up with them again.”
Hull FC head coach, Tony Smith, added: “Simply, he is what I would call a footy player. He’s got the ability to run the ball and he can take control of a game and that’s what I really like about him. He’s smart and it’s a really good pick up for the club.
“Not only that, but he’s a great human being too. We connected well when we had a chat over the phone recently and I can tell he’s going to be great for the culture we are trying to create here. He’s got a great personality.
“Having sampled footy both in the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere is a good thing. I like the fact he has played in England before and that he has experience of playing in this country. I think that’s going to hold him in good stead.
“I can just sense a real hunger about Nu and how he wants to hit the ground running for us. He’ll be joining us just after being in camp with the Kiwis, which is a great achievement for him, so we hope he brings that confidence along with him and that he can make a great start to his career at Hull.”