Dolphins forward Herman Ese'ese will leave the club at the end of the season with Super League side Hull FC confirming that they have signed him for the 2024 season.

A New Zealand and Samoan international, as well as the nephew of rugby league icon Ali Lauiti'iti, Ese'ese has joined Hull FC on a three-year deal until the end of the 2026 season.

Ese'ese joined the Dolphins for their maiden season after stints with the Bulldogs (2015), Broncos (2016-17), Knights (2018-20), and Titans (2021-22). Since being a part of Wayne Bennett's side he has been a mainstay in the team since making his club debut in Round 5 and appeared in 17 games this season primarily coming off the interchange bench or taking one of the starting front-row positions.

Playing on average 30 to 35 minutes per game for the Dolphins this season, Ese'ese has made 37 tackle busts, 627.1 post-contact metres and ran a total of 1719 metres this season, averaging 101 per game.

“I'm really excited to be making the move; I've always wanted to come over to Super League and test myself on that side of the world. I'm only 28 years old and feel like I'm in the prime of my career right now, so I'm thrilled to be spending the next three years with Hull," Ese'ese said.

“I'm grateful for the opportunity to wear the Black & White jersey, and play for a club with such a rich history – I can't wait to work with Tony and the lads.

“Growing up, you always dream of playing in the NRL and playing at an international level. But now I want to come to Super League while I've got some of my best years ahead of me. I didn't want to come over too late in my career – I still have a lot of footy to give and I want to do that with a great club.

“Having always been a keen watcher of Super League, Hull FC has always been a team I've kept an eye on. I admire their desire and grit, and it's a side that has a lot of potential at the moment.

“From what I've seen on TV, the fans are incredibly passionate about their team – that's great to see and I can't wait to experience playing in front of them and feeling that energy. I want to play some great footy for them.

“Across all grades, the club is moving in a good direction and I want to come over and help continue that; I'm really keen to get involved with the academy and help share my knowledge and experience with them too.”

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Herman Ese'Ese of the Broncos takes on the defence during the round seven NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium on April 14, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Hull FC head coach Tony Smith spoke about the signing of the NRL journeyman, who has played for five different NRL clubs in his career.

“We've done a lot of research into getting the right people into the club, and Herman fits the bill. We've been talking to him for a while and we're excited about the prospect of him joining the club," he said.

“We want people who are going to come here and improve us, and help develop the right culture here, and we're confident he will do that.

“I'm excited to work with him; he has plenty of experience in the NRL and he's ready for a new challenge, in terms of new competition and taking on some bigger roles and responsibilities too, especially in terms of leadership which is something we need going forward. It's a perfect fit.

“There are aspects that he wants to improve and develop, but I like that he's willing to do that while developing his own leadership qualities, taking some onus of the pack. He's the sort of player that wants to take authority in the middle of the park, and we think he'll be good at that for us.

“He's got good skill and likes to play with the ball – he can put on a nice pass and some good go-forward. He knows how to find the right pass and offload at the right time.

“We don't want to put too much pressure on him, but having coached his uncle many years ago, you can see many similarities between him and Ali Lauiti'iti in aspects of his game.”

Newcastle Knights Training Session
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: Herman Ese'ese during a Newcastle Knights NRL training session at Wests Mayfield on May 19, 2020 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)