After signing for Canadian outfit Toronto Wolfpack in the off-season, it was viewed as something of a coup for the Betfred Championship team when Joe Westerman signed from Warrington Wolves for a six figure fee and salary.
However, just months into his time with the club and before they had played any games in Canada, Westerman has left the club to sign with Hull FC on a deal to the end of the season. The 28 year old made over 100 appearances for the Airlie Birds between 2011 and 2015 before moving to the Wolves for a two year spell.
It was initially believed that Westerman’s wage demands were too high as Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers – another former team – didn’t feel they could match the wages the one-time England player’s wages with the Wolfpack. However, it has been suggested that once he reduced his demands, both Hull FC and Hull KR were vying for his signature with the former seeing the man put pen to paper. Speaking of his move, Westerman said “it’s brilliant to be back. I loved my time playing at Hull and I can’t wait to get back playing in front of that big crowd. It’s a club that has always close to my heart. I had a bit of an issue at Toronto and needed a change. There were a few clubs interested in me but after speaking to Lee Radford, it was a no-brainer to come back.”
What has happened since Westerman previously left the club means that he may struggle to get a starting jersey. With the likes of Sika Manu and Mark Minichello both having vast experience as well as a crop of younger forwards doing well for the club, their new recruit will definitely have competition for places. Speaking of his new team, Westerman acknowledged that “I have a lot of work to do. I can’t just walk straight into the side. It might be a few weeks yet before I get a run out. But that’s the nature of joining a top team. I just need to make sure I grab my chance with both hands when it comes.” Furthermore, he explained “I have to prove myself. It’s the first time in my career I’ve had to really work for something like this, and I’m prepared for that.”
Westerman has been handed the number 33 shirt for his second stint with the Humberside club and joins the club after their late 19-18 victory over Leeds Rhinos last night at the KCOM Stadium.