Leigh Leopards’ John Asiata Joins Hull FC – Controversial Transfer Unveiled

Surprise Signing Stirs Controversy: Leigh Leopards’ John Asiata Joins Hull FC

In a move that has shaken the rugby league world, Leigh Leopards’ forward John Asiata is set to join Hull FC at the end of the 2024 season, signing a lucrative three-year, marquee contract with the Black and Whites. The announcement, which came as a surprise to many, has ignited a fiery reaction from Leigh owner Derek Beaumont.

Beaumont expressed his discontent with the manner in which the transfer was unveiled, questioning the “standards and conduct” of Hull FC. He claimed that Asiata had been “thrown under the bus” by the statement, asserting that the timing of the announcement had not been pre-agreed with Leigh officials. The Leigh owner also voiced his disapproval of the use of an image depicting Asiata holding the Challenge Cup aloft in Leopards’ colors.

Now, Beaumont has revealed that Asiata himself was “upset” by the way the news was broken, with the Leigh captain issuing a statement on Wednesday apologizing to the club’s fans. In a recent Fan Q&A with Leopards TV, Beaumont offered insight into Asiata’s reaction, stating, “He was a bit upset with not having, you know, had the announcement on his own terms.”

“He was a bit upset with not having, you know, had the announcement on his own terms.”

Despite the controversy, Asiata confirmed that he had “agreed the comments could be used,” but claimed he “wasn’t aware” that an agreement for the release of the announcement had not been reached between Leigh and Hull. The response from Leigh fans appears to have been one of understanding, as they accepted the statement from their captain.

Beaumont, however, did not hold back, issuing a stern warning to rival clubs, particularly Hull FC. Joking about the club’s beloved mascot, Leeto the Leopard, Beaumont made it clear that the team’s iconic figure is not up for grabs, stating, “You can’t take John and then go for Leeto as well, that would be one too far. I’d be getting upset about that one. So Leeto is firmly staying here.”

This high-profile transfer saga has undoubtedly added an intriguing layer to the upcoming rugby league season, with the implications of Asiata’s move to Hull FC and the ongoing tensions between the clubs sure to captivate fans and pundits alike.

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