Ahead of Sunday’s pre-season friendly against Bradford Bulls, we’ve picked out five players to keep a close eye on for the Black & Whites.
An ACL injury suffered in late 2020 had a severe effect on Jamie Shaul’s 2021 campaign, so much so that he was only able to make a total of four appearances last season.
Another injury in Hull’s last game of the season against Wakefield was the last thing Shaul needed for his morale, but he has fought through the adversity of another injury to return in tip-top shape for FC’s first pre-season game of the year against the Bulls.
With Jake Connor still absent through injury, Shaul may feature in his more natural fullback role. However, Brett Hodgson has been waxing lyrical about Shaul’s efforts on the wing in training over the last few weeks, so don’t be surprised to see the 29-year-old given the chance to impress out wide.
Brett Hodgson has been particularly impressed with Charlie Severs’ attitude since joining the first team through the club’s ‘Rising Stars’ programme in November, 2021.
The young second-rower scored the first try of the season for the Hull FC Academy in 2021, away to Wakefield Trinity.
He has a reputation for his strong line-running, a key component to any second-rower’s game.
Davy Litten had to go the long way around to get here. Initially turned down by the academy, he earned his stripes for Hull FC by playing for the club’s college team.
The young back has been quick to prove his early doubters wrong, and Brett Hodgson was instantly impressed with what he saw when he arrived at the club in late 2020.
Litten, who can operate as a fullback or a centre, has been training with the first team squad since the start of last year.
Having impressed for Hull’s Academy side last season, the dynamic youngster may be rewarded with a place in Hodgson’s side on Sunday.
Don’t be deceived by his size – Nick Staveley is just 17 years of age. But what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in his gallant efforts on the field.
Staveley, who came through as a youngster at Stanningley, joined the club’s Academy from Warrington Wolves last season, proving to be a prolific try scorer in the pack.
Chiefly, the teenager featured in the loose forward role for the Under 19s last season, but he did test the waters in the second-row later in the season as he tried to add more versatility to his CV.
Expect heavy artillery carries from the youngster, but also don’t be surprised to see him exhibit his ball-playing skills, too.
Callum Rutland is capable of filling in at hooker or halfback.
The 18-year-old came through as a junior at Heworth, in York, and he has recently been added to the club’s ‘Rising Stars’ group.
Rutland proved to be a dangerous opponent for most teams in the Academy competition last season, regularly assisting his team mates for tries.
Perhaps one of his strongest assets is his decision making, posing a deadly threat to any defence. Able to pick the perfect pass or dummy his way through the line, Rutland often has the opposition guessing.