Rugby League club Hull FC have confirmed star winger Ratu Naulago will depart the club at the end of the current Super League season to return to rugby union.
He is said to have agreed a deal to join a club ‘in the south west’ in order to be nearer to his family.
A statement on the club website read: “Hull FC have confirmed that Ratu Naulago will depart the club at the end of the season after agreeing a contract with a Premiership rugby union club.
Ratu Naulago will leave Hull FC at the end of the season to take up a contract in rugby union.https://t.co/uuS2MxQicl— League Express (@leagueexpress) May 19, 2020
“The winger signed his first professional rugby contract with the Black & Whites last season after a successful trial period, having been spotted playing for the British Army rugby union 7s team.
“Naulago’s current contract expires at the end of the season and he has made the difficult decision to return home closer to his family in the south-west, despite having the opportunity to stay at Hull FC.”
The 28-year-old speedster leaves the Arlie Birds having scored a number of eye-catching tries for his first professional club, totalling 15 in 23 league matches.
He told hullfc.com: “I would like to thank Hull FC for the opportunity they gave me in professional rugby – I will always be thankful for that. 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. 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.
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“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.”
He continued: “I am fully committed to the club for the rest of this season when we do get back playing and 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.
“I would also like to thank the Army for their continued support with my rugby career which I’m extremely grateful for.”
LIST | 4 rugby league stars who flopped for England
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1. Sam Burgess
England, who fast-tracked Burgess into their World Cup squad in defiance of logic, Bath and the player himself each shoulder varying degrees of blame for arguably the greatest cross-code flop in history. We’re not saying he was an awful player, but the whole thing was a complete disaster.