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Hull Kingston Rovers have finally got their man after unveiling 26yr old Papua New Guinean international forward Makali Aizue as the clubs latest signing.
The announcement comes some three months after their initial enquiry and the Papua New Guinea international will play for the club throughout the 2003 season and, along with the majority of other players at the club his contract will be reviewed at the end of this season.
"I am delighted to have completed such a complex arrangement which has included several late nights of negotiations and hours of paper work and phone calls to the relevant bodies involved with Makali's work permit. His flight schedule was indeed another battle for the club, since Makali has flown in from such a remote part of the world."
"From a playing point of view the club fully expects Makali to compete for a regular position within the first team playing squad which will add to the strength and depth of the club." The clubs Chief Executive, Nick Halafihi commented.
Makali fills the one quota place which all National League 1 teams are allowed to have, and he ends months of speculation at the club surrounding the possibility of the club to secure his work permit.
Speaking about the clubs new acquisition, the clubs chairman Colin McNicol said: "The Board of Directors are delighted to have finally secured Makali as a Hull Kingston Rovers player and are looking forward to seeing him play in a Robins shirt. Makali is indeed a quality rugby league player and the mere fact that he is a current international can only add to the stature of the club, we wish him luck in his endeavours to play competitive rugby league in the UK."
The club can also confirm that this latest signing has been supported by a local businessman. Neil Hudgell of "Hudgell Solicitors" is the financer behind the deal. Neil has made a significant contribution to the players personal terms, which had earlier proved a potential stumbling block.
Speaking about this Halafihi commented: "This is not the first time that Neil has supported the club and I would like to thank him for making this signing become a reality. Neil is a big supporter of the club and it appears to be indicative of the way in which local businesses are currently rallying around the club. With this in mind I would urge other business minded people to contact me in order to discuss any small way in which they may like to get involved with a similar type of initiative."