Hull FC lose star winger Ratu Naulago as he heads off to Bristol Bears

Hull FC's Ratu Naulago scores against Leeds Rhinos. (SWPIX)Hull FC's Ratu Naulago scores against Leeds Rhinos. (SWPIX)
Hull FC's Ratu Naulago scores against Leeds Rhinos. (SWPIX)
Hull FC have suffered a blow after Fijian winger Ratu Naulago turned down a new deal in favour of a switch Premiership union side Bristol Bears.

Naulago, who made such a big impact after joined from the British Army’s union 7s side last year, will depart the Airlie Birds at the end of the season.

Strong, with lightning pace and excellent finishing skills, he quickly made the transition to league after a successful trial period and proved one of Super League’s big finds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Naulago, 28, is out of contract at the end of this campaign and has opted to return home closer to his family in the south-west.

“I would like to thank Hull FC for the opportunity they gave me in professional rugby – I will always be thankful for that,” he said.

“I have loved my time here; everyone at the club has made me feel very welcome.

“I hadn’t considered playing anywhere else in rugby league.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I have too much respect for the club and for what they have done for me, so leaving for another Super League team was never an option.

“This opportunity in rugby union will allow me to move back home to my wife and close friends which is really important to me.

“It has been a very difficult decision but it is a new challenge I am really looking forward to.”

Hard-hitting Naulago, who previously won the Premiership Sevens playing as a guest for Saracens, scored twice on his debut when Hull ended a long losing run with a victory at Wigan last February.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He went on to cross 15 times in just 23 appearances to underline his potential although he was allowed to still represent the British Army at union, featuring as they beat Royal Navy at Twickenham in May.

Naulago also scored two tries in Hull’s opening three games this term but had not played since the 32-18 home loss to St Helens on February 16.

He continued: “I am fully committed to the club for the rest of this season when we do get back playing.

“I am determined to do my best for the team to finish on a high, it would be fantastic to try and win something with the club.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I would also like to thank the Army for their continued support with my rugby career which I’m extremely grateful for.”

Hull are not short of wingers given Mahe Fonua returned to the club this year from the NRL and they also signed Adam Swift from St Helens to add to the likes of Bureta Faraimo and Naulago.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.