It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for – Hull FC are delighted to announce that star full-back Jake Connor has signed a two-year contract extension with the Black & Whites!
Kicking off Derby Week with a bang, the England international has secured his future with the Airlie Birds, with the new deal keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2023 season.
Connor has become a household name in Super League since joining Hull FC in 2017, going on to play 114 games for the club so far, scoring 33 tries, as well as lifting the Challenge Cup in his debut season.
The 26-year-old has also gone on to represent England and Great Britain, as well as recently impressing for the Combined Nations All-Stars in the mid-season international.
Connor has enjoyed an exemplary season in the full back role under Brett Hodgson, contributing 20 assists along the way, which has seen him placed in the top five for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.
Despite understandable interest in his services from across the game, Hull have secured a deal for the fans’ favourite and one of the games brightest stars – with Connor admitting he now wants to enhance his growing reputation with the club having committed his future to Hull.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Connor said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to get my contract finalised. It was an absolute no-brainer for me; the club has treated me well since day one and I’m really glad to get it sorted, and I’m looking forward to cracking on.
“It was an easy decision to sign. It never got to a stage where I wanted to look elsewhere, I always wanted to stay here and didn’t really speak to anyone else. I’ve been here for five seasons now and wanted to extend that longer.
“The ultimate aim for me is to win silverware. I think under Brett, we’ve played some really good rugby this year and we’ve got the squad to kick on and improve.
“When we’ve had the full team on the pitch we’ve played well, and we’re getting some bodies back at a vital time for us to put a good run of form together.
He continued: “Everyone wants to get to a Grand Final and we’re no different still, and I feel like we’ve got the squad to do that over the next few years and we can continue to improve.”
On his 2021 campaign so far, which has seen him make the switch to the full-back role, he added: “I’ve enjoyed playing under Brett this season. He’s given me a set role to almost do what I want and play what I see, rather than playing to a structure.
“I’ve got a license to play and some belief. He’s a great coach and I’ve learned a lot from him so far and hopefully that’s shown in the way I’ve played.
“I feel like this has been the most consistent year of my career so far. I’ve played some good rugby in my time here but my problem has always been consistency.
“I can’t remember a game this season when I look back and think I haven’t been involved as much as I want to or had the ball as much as I’d have liked, and I want that to continue and hopefully it makes a difference to the team.”
Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson believes the club have tied down one of the most exciting players in the competition.
He said: “Jake is an extremely talented player who is absolutely pivotal to any success we have as a team. He has worked extremely hard at improving areas of his game too this season, which is really pleasing to see.
“He has that skill that very few players possess. And his talent means that opposition players have to worry about him, which in turn creates space for his teammates. He is continually improving, and we’re excited to see him back on the field and continue that.”
Hodgson continued: “Finding that consistency to his game has been really important for him this year. He is valuing aspects of the game a lot more now as a full-back in terms of the off-the-ball areas of his game.
“On the ball, he’s always been a talent, and just needed to get the ball in his hands a bit more which we have seen this season.
“He is an enormous competitor who hates losing, and will do anything to make sure we come away with the win at the end of the eighty minutes – you can see that in his training as well as on the field.
He competes hard every day, and that attitude is infectious amongst the group, which is a real positive he brings.”
Jake Connor is proudly sponsored by Humber Street Distillery. To find out more – click here