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Hull FC Super League

Kelly set to miss season opener

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Hull FC half-back Albert Kelly looks set to miss the start of the season due to injury after being absent for yesterday’s match against St Helens.

The injury, picked up against Wakefield Trinity last weekend, was initially believed to be little cause for concern but his absence on Saturday led to head coach Lee Radford admitting that the former Hull KR man is likely to be ruled out of their opening Super League match against his former team. Post-match, Radford told the media that only Mickey Paea has a realistic chance of being fit and ready for round one out of the players currently absent.

Without Kelly in their ranks, the Airlie Birds lost to St Helens yesterday in Jonny Lomax’s testimonial, going down 28-18 in their last match before the Super League season commences. The scoreline has been perceived as flattering to the Hull side with Saints dominating either side of the break, although the Black and Whites did show their quality at times in the opening period. With the hosts outscoring FC by six tries to three, it was solely their profligacy with the boot – missing four conversions – which meant they only won by ten. Indeed, Hull FC scored two late tries through Jamie Shaul and Bureta Faraimo to close the deficit but, nevertheless, it will have done both teams good to have faced Super League opposition in their final game of pre-season.

 

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Hull FC Super League

Hull FC new boys giving Radford food for thought

As they aim to drastically improve after a poor second half to 2018, Hull FC and head coach Lee Radford are well into their preparations for next year’s Super League season with five weeks of training under their belts already.

Radford, who has been very outspoken about his discontent with his team’s showings towards the end of last season, has explained how he will be using the Airlie Birds’ three pre-season friendlies to fine tune his first-choice seventeen rather than giving wholesale appearances to youngsters and fringe players. It is believed that newcomer Danny Langtree – recently arrived from Oldham – has impressed Radford greatly in training thus far, as has Jordan Thompson, the forward returning to the club after a season away with Leigh and Leeds. The latter has reportedly been one of the more determined characters in training and, with the rule changes regarding interchanges coming in, his nature as a forward who can do big minutes will certainly count in his favour.

Furthermore, the head coach has confirmed that his FC squad won’t be given an extended break over Christmas – unlike cross-city rivals Hull KR who are set to give their players a twelve day break over the festive period. Instead, the Black and Whites are set for four days off, returning to training on the 27th of December. The weekend prior to Christmas will see the club throw a special Christmas party for the players, staff and their families. The team will then prepare for their 6th January friendly against Doncaster before matches against Wakefield and St Helens before their season-opening Hull derby at the end of the month.

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Hull FC Super League

Hull FC star set to return

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After a remarkable recovery from a hamstring injury suffered in July, Hull FC head coach Lee Radford has been able to name utility player Jake Connor in his nineteen man squad to face St Helens on Friday.

Radford, who has been heavily critical of his team in recent weeks, was understandably delighted to be able to call upon the services of the England international and confirmed that he will feature at the Totally Wicked Stadium. “There is no doubt he brings a lot of quality into the halves this week. He’s going to be partnering a more inexperienced half-back too so that will help us around the field,” he told the local media. “The physios and conditioning staff have done a great job. I wasn’t expecting to have him back this early” he added with a nod to the medical team at the club.

Having made his England debut in the Denver test this summer, Connor, 23, will be pleased to be able to return to the field of play with three matches remaining of the domestic season as he aims to feature for the national team in the end-of-season series against New Zealand.