Check out our match preview as the Black & Whites prepare to take on Salford Red Devils on Sunday afternoon.
Hull FC make their long-awaited return to action this weekend after a four-and-a-half month break from action, with Ian Watson’s side coming up as their first opponents in the behind-closed-doors matches, this week taking place at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Here’s all the key information you need to know on both teams ahead of the game:
What’s the team news?
The Black & Whites can boast an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, with only Scott Taylor and Masi Matongo unavailable for selection.
Vice-captain Taylor sits out with a back problem, while fellow prop Matongo will be missing with a shoulder knock sustained in training.
Following the recent birth of his child and with Andy Last having several other outside backs at his disposal, winger Adam Swift is also not selected.
Jake Connor, Bureta Faraimo, Ratu Naulago, Mahe Fonua, Joe Cator, Andre Savelio and Manu Ma’u, all of whom were nursing injuries going into the lockdown break, are all fully-fit and named in the squad.
Meanwhile for Salford, former Wigan Warriors Grand Final winner Morgan Escare could make his debut for the side having joined during lockdown.
Oliver Roberts, Andy Ackers and Kevin Brown are all unavailable for the Red Devils.
Salford 21-Man Squad: Niall Evalds, Kris Welham, Dan Sarginson, Tui Lolohea, Lee Mossop, Joey Lussick, Ryan Lannon, Pauli Pauli, Tyrone McCarthy, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Luke Yates, Chris Atkin, Mark Flanagan, Josh Johnson, James Greenwood, Rhys Williams, Ken Sio, Elliot Kear, Connor Jones, Jack Ormondroyd, Morgan Escare.
Hull FC 21-Man Squad: Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Jake Connor, Marc Sneyd, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, Josh Jones, Manu Ma’u, Ligi Sao, Albert Kelly, Joe Cator, Jordan Johnstone, Brad Fash, Jordan Lane, Josh Bowden, Andre Savelio, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Ellis, Ratu Naulago.
What’s the lowdown on Salford?
After the highs of 2019 in which the Red Devils went on a remarkable end of seasson run to reach the Betfred Super League Grand Final for the very first time, 2020 hasn’t been much to write home about so far for Ian Watson’s side.
The side from Greater Manchester have only registered one win out of six games played, and are the lowest points scorers in the league with just 70 scored, and only Hull KR have a worse points difference.
Their 18-14 victory over the Warriors though in March did show the spirt and resolve of the side that made it all the way to Old Tafford last season, coming back from 12 points down in the final 20 minutes of a close contest.
The Black & Whites will be hoping to put another dint in their poor early season form, with defeat for the Devils potentially putting them bottom of the table this weekend should other results go against them.
What’s the memorable match?
The Black & Whites secured top spot in Super League going into the Super 8s with their 28-20 win over the Red Devils back in 2016.
A memorable regular season for the Black & Whites was topped with a fine victory at the AJ Bell to secure Hull as the top placed side going into the second stage of the season.
Mahe Fonua, Chris Green, Steve Michaels, Frank Pritchard and Marc Sneyd all got their names on the score-sheet in front of severeal thousand travelling Black & White fans on a warm July Friday evening.
Who are the ones to watch?
FC: Under a new coach for the first time in over seven years, everyone in Black & White will be keen to catch the eye, but it could be Josh Griffin could be pivotal in an FC victory. The former Salford man and the 2019 Hull FC Player of the Year began this season where he left off last year, in fine form, and will be looking for another big performance in the centre. Super League’s top metre maker so far in 2020 (999m) will be hoping to add plenty to his tally this weekend.
SD: Morgan Escare will be keen to impress on debut, should he be selected. Likely to feature off the bench, given Niall Evalds holds down the full-back spot currently, his pace could cause trouble for the Black & Whites, particularly with the new ‘six again’ rule. FC must be on guard to prevent the Frenchman being a menace – the former Grand Final winner with Wigan has both try-scoring and defensive abilities that saw the Red Devils come calling for his signature during lockdown.
What are the key match details?
When: Sunday 9th August, 1.00pm
Where: Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds
How to watch: Live on Sky Sports, or via the OuRLeague app for members who requested their access code.