Hull FC have announced the signing of former Catalan Dragons centre or second rower Setaimata Sa, who has spent the last 18 months in rugby union with London Irish.

The 26-year-old Samoa-born former New Zealand international, who was a member of the Kiwis’ World Cup-winning squad in 2008, has signed for the Black and Whites to the end of the 2015 season and is set to make his debut in Friday’s First Utility Super League game against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.

“Setaimata is a great signing for us,” Hull coach Lee Radford said. “He is exactly the calibre of player we should be bringing into this club and a significant move in terms of our recruitment process.

“He is a New Zealand international, a World Cup winner, and has appeared in the Exiles squads; that says it all.

“He is a player that can come straight into our side and make a significant improvement to our team. He has a fantastic character and temperament and, whilst he is a good bloke off the field, he is a fierce competitor on it which is what we want.

“He was missing rugby league and is really keen to make his mark at Hull FC, which is very pleasing. The first thing he said when he signed was he couldn’t wait to play in a Hull derby. That is exactly what you want to hear as a coach.”

The 6ft 3in Sa spent four seasons in the NRL with Sydney Roosters before moving to Super League in 2009 and scored 24 tries in 69 appearances for the Dragons.

Sa said: “I am pleased it has finally been announced and really looking forward to getting back playing rugby league, the game where my career started, and I can’t wait to put on the Hull FC shirt.
“There is without doubt a lot of talent here. Ben Crooks is a good young player competing for a centre spot and Fetuli (Talanoa) coming over was a good signing, so there is a lot of competition and that is only going to be good for myself and the other boys too.”