Brett Hodgson has explained his excitement to make his coaching debut at the KCOM Stadium this Sunday as the Black & Whites prepare to face Warrington Wolves.
The Betfred Super League round three clash will see Hull return to their home stadium for only the second time since the start of the pandemic, giving Hodgson his first hit-out as head coach on home soil since joining the club.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, in association with Jacuzzi ®, Hodgson said: “I’m really excited for us as a club that we get to come home.
“I’ve always loved the KCOM Stadium – I’ve always thought it was one of the best rugby stadiums in the world.
“I’m hoping that we do ourselves and our fans proud. We want to perform well at home and give our supporters something to cheer for when they come back in the next few months.”
Assessing the squad’s injury situation ahead of the match, he commented: “This game comes too soon for Ligi Sao, but he should be good to go next week.
“If the game was two or three days later, he would have been good to go, but we just want to make sure we’re doing the right thing by him to give him time to get a bit more volume into his legs.
“Manu Ma’u won’t feature this week either. He will be missing for three or four weeks with a calf tear.”
And Hodgson said his players have had an impressive week in pre-season training following a mixed performance last weekend against Featherstone, but held particular praise for Bureta Faraimo on his personal performance.
“The players have been excellent and we’ve had a really strong week.
“Looking back on Saturday’s game, the first-half was actually really impressive and we showed some quality. Getting to the score we did at the break meant we switched off a little bit in the second-half, with the elements of the ground contributing, but ultimately, we progressed.
“Bureta did himself proud last week, he was excellent. What we have asked of the players is when they get an opportunity, they take that for their own benefit, and he definitely did that.”
Hodgson also assessed this weekend’s opposition in the form of his former club, the Wolves.
“Warrington are a quality team, but we have tests already this season. It is difficult to come up against teams like Featherstone knowing you should go out there and win, so it’s a mindset thing. Games like this are a different test. We’re excited about the challenge ahead.
“They looked excellent against Leigh a few weeks ago. So we’re expecting them to be a really tough opposition for us.
“There are a number of players who were there when I was; Ratchford, Cooper, Hill and Currie for example. They were all coming through the ranks when I was there. They have quality through the ranks. Widdop is in great form, Ratchford is always a danger and Clark can cut teams to pieces.”
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