After finishing their respective seasons, Mahe Fonua and Corey Thompson will both enjoy a short break before joining Wests Tigers for 2018 pre-season training.
Playing at Hull FC (Fonua) and Widnes Vikings (Thompson), the backline duo both produced strong seasons at their two clubs before ending the year in dramatic fashion — Thompson’s Widnes defeating Catalans in their final game to avoid the Million Pound Game while Fonua’s Hull went down to Leeds Rhinos in the Super League Playoffs.
The pair will return to Australia having each played the past two seasons in England — combining for a total of 71 tries in that time to leave many fans excited about 2018.
Fonua joined Hull FC in 2016 after four seasons with the Melbourne Storm, and quickly found his feet in Super League — scoring 14 league tries to be named in the Super League Dream Team, while also scoring to help Hull FC win the Challenge Cup Final.
His 2017 season was just as strong — 11 tries in the regular season were matched by another Challenge Cup title, with Fonua crossing for two tries in the Final over Wigan.
As he was in 2016, Fonua was again named in the Super League Dream Team for 2017 alongside teammate and former Gold Coast Titans playmaker Albert Kelly.
Thompson too comes to Wests Tigers after a rich try-scoring spell with the Vikings; 27 tries in 33 games saw him finish the 2016 season as the second highest try-scorer in the competition, while the former Bulldog also added another 13 tries to his tally in 2017.
Thompson ensured his side would remain in Super League the following year by scoring the opening try in his side’s heart-stopping victory over Catalans in the final round of the Qualifiers — leaving the Dragons to face Leigh Centurions in the infamous Million Pound Game.
The pair will join a number of exciting outside backs at Wests Tigers ahead of the 2018 season, with the likes of David Nofoaluma, Kevin Naiqama, Moses Suli, Taane Milne, Tui Lolohea and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak all set to compete for spots in the back-line.