Webster talks up Miller
Former Hull FC and Hull KR scrum-half James Webster is tipping a bright future for Jacob Miller as he prepares to make his home debut for the Black and Whites against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow.
The 20-year-old endured a difficult start to his Super League career as Hull suffered a shock 30-28 defeat at Castleford Tigers last Friday, less than a week after arriving from Sydney to plug the gap created by the departure of fellow Australian Brett Seymour.
But Webster, the Wakefield assistant coach, knows the pedigree of the former Wests Tigers half-back and saw enough signs against Castleford that he can become a success in Super League.
"I know about Jacob," Webster said. "I saw him play in Australia and my brother (Andrew) coached him at Wests Tigers.
"It's hard for a kid to come into a new team in that position and stamp his authority really early, but what I saw were good foundations for what will probably be a good career for him at Hull FC.
"He's got a good head on some young shoulders and with the squad they've got, especially their back-rowers, I think he's going to go well for them."
Hull are boosted by the return of England forwards Gareth Ellis and Danny Tickle and winger Tom Briscoe as they look to halt a two-match running run.
And Webster, whose Wildcats side have already lost twice to the Black and Whites this season, knows how difficult they are to beat at the KC Stadium.
"Their home form is outstanding," he said. "I think you can count on the fingers of one hand how many games they've lost at home over the last two years.
"And, other than Richard Horne, I think they've a fully-fit 25-man squad. Danny Tickle is back and we're expecting Ellis and Tom Briscoe to play as well.
"But we'd back our side to go to any ground at the moment and play well. If we can put our best foot forward, I think we'll be in with a chance."
Wakefield have run into form with back-to-back wins over Salford City Reds and London Broncos to rekindle their play-off hopes and they are boosted by the return from suspension of lively hooker Paul Aiton.
"Paul's been good for us," Webster said. "He's probably our most consistent player.
"He adds a bit of steel to our middle, he's a real tough competititor. We're looking forward to Paul coming back."
Most attention will be focused on Hull's right-wing partnership of young guns Ben Crooks and Tom Lineham, who have scored 29 tries in Super League between them so far this year.
Crooks, the 20-year-old son of former Hull and Great Britain prop Lee Crooks, made the headlines against Castleford last week when he scored four tries and still finished on the losing side.
Wakefield winger Ben Cockayne, whose outstanding form at the start of the season earned him a call-up to the England elite training squad, reckons he is competing with the Hull youngsters for a World Cup spot at the end of the year.
"I'll be up against Tom Lineham, who has been outstanding for them," said Cockayne.
"He's a big unit who has been carrying the ball extremely well for them.
"There's Ben Crooks as well on that side, who has been a massive threat, so they've got two really top-quality young players who I am sure will also be putting their hands up for the England squad at the end of the year."