Hull step up off-season activity
Ambitious Hull FC have lined up a move for Australia international half-back Scott Prince.
The Black and Whites have already signed Australian stand-off Daniel Holdsworth from Salford City Reds for next season, but coach Peter Gentle is determined to find him a new partner.
The club have given up hope of landing Castleford Tigers’ England international Rangi Chase after being thwarted by red tape and have now turned their attention to Gold Coast scrum-half Prince, with Wests Tigers playmaker Jacob Miller thought to be a back-up option.
Gentle and director of rugby Shaun McRae will fly out to Australia next week with an offer of a three-year contract for the 32-year-old.
Prince, who won four caps with the Kangaroos and made five State of Origin appearances for Queensland, is contracted to the Titans for another two seasons, yet it is believed they will not stand in his way of a move to Super League.
“Peter firmly believes that one of the pieces in the jigsaw missing at the moment is another quality half-back and we’re still very much in the hunt, with a couple of options available to us,” said McRae.
“It’s delicately poised at the moment and that’s the reason why we aren’t in a position to announce too much just yet but I’m very confident that we will make another signing in that position.”
Hull’s latest ambitious move into the transfer market - they have already secured the services of England forward Gareth Ellis - will almost certainly spell the end of Brett Seymour’s career at the club.
Seymour was signed from New Zealand Warriors 12 months ago but does not appear to fit into Gentle’s plan.
Hull have already confirmed the signings of Joe Arundel, Jason Crookes, Ben Galea and Paul Johnson, in addition to that of Holdsworth and Ellis, and are thought to be close to acquiring the services of Australian full-back Shannon McDonell, who spent the 2012 season with Hull KR.
Today the club handed 18-year-old hooker James Cunningham an improved contract.
The academy international, who made his Super League debut this year, was already contracted for next season but has now signed a new deal that will keep him at the club until the end of 2015.
McRae said: “We’re delighted that James has extended his contract with the club. He’s a very talented player and we’ve got great hopes for him for the future.
“At the moment, he sits behind Danny Houghton, who has a long-term deal at the club, and Aaron Heremaia, who has another couple of years with us, but you need succession plans and players who are able to come through and put the pressure on.”
Meanwhile, Hull have announced a partnership with Championship club York that will see several players exchanged on a loan and dual registration basis.
Half-back Danny Nicklas, who made seven appearances for Hull in Super League in 2012, will become York’s first acquisition from the arrangement after the clubs agreed a season-long loan deal.