HULL Kingston Rovers’ Papua New Guinea forward Makali Aizue has signed a two-year contract with championship club Halifax.
The 31-year-old prop, who played for the PNG Kumuls in the 2008 World Cup, was Rovers’ longest-serving player, having been at Craven Park for the past nine years.
He was not offered a new deal at the club.
“It was a very difficult decision, especially when it was someone who has been part of the fabric of the place for so long, but players and coaches need to move on at some stage,” Hull KR coach Justin Morgan said.
Halifax director of football Martin Hall, who coached Aizue at Craven Park in 2004, said: “Makali could probably have been playing in Super League next season if he had chosen to. Fortunately, we have managed to persuade him to come and continue his career with us.”
Playing in last year’s World Cup, Aizue was touted as a target for Fax late last week when Rovers announced they would not be offering Aizue – a devastating runner of the ball – a new contract.
“Makali is somebody who has played in Super League over the last few years and could probably have been playing in Super League next season too if he had chosen to,” Hall said.
“Fortunately, we have managed to persuade him to come and continue his career with us.
“Anybody who has seen him play will know that he’s a great forward and hits the line very hard, both in attack and defence.
“He’s obviously someone I worked with a few years ago, and he has improved year by year since then.
“He’s been getting quality coaching in a full-time environment for a number of seasons now and there is no doubt he will strengthen us up front.”
Aizue becomes Fax’s first new recruit for next season, and is one of only four forwards currently contracted to the club beyond November.