The Black & Whites will be looking to build on their dramatic Round One victory over Wakefield this Thursday, as they welcome the Catalans Dragons to the KCOM Stadium in the opening home game of Super League XXI.
In front of what is expected to be a big crowd, Hull FC will be hoping to make it their 5th win in a row against the French outfit after four victories over Laurent Frayssinous side in 2016, including one of the club’s best away performances in recent times, a home nilling and a cup quarter-final.
The Black & Whites
Hull FC will be without their big signing Albert Kelly; the stand-off submitted an EGP after receiving a Grade B charge for a high shot in the Wakefield match a fortnight ago. However, this grants a big opportunity for Jake Connor who will most likely make his first start for the club.
Meanwhile, Steve Michaels is included in the squad after recovering from a head knock in the reserves friendly against York at Bootham Crescent last week. But Dean Hadley misses out again with a hip injury.
Josh Bowden returns to the squad after an ankle injury and could be in line to make his first appearance of 2o17. Jansin Turgut is also included.
Danny Washbrook is in the 19-man squad and if chosen, will make his 150th Hull FC appearance.
Full Hull FC Squad: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Joh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Danny Washbrook, Steve Michaels, Sika Manu, Josh Bowden, Jansin Turgut.
Louis Anderson, Alrix Da Costa and Iain Thornley coming in to replace Fouad Yaha, Luke Burgess and Lucas Albert in the Catalans squad. Former Black & Whites Sam Moa and Jodie Broughton are also in the squad.
Other new signings Brayden Willame and Greg Bird are also included in the squad.
Full Catalans Squad: Jodie Broughton, Krisnan Inu, Brayden Williame, Luke Walsh, Richie Myler, Sam Moa, Paul Aiton, Remi Casty, Louis Anderson, Justin Horo, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Ben Garcia, Thomas Bosc, Jason Baitieri, Vincent Duport, Mickael Simon, Iain Thornley, Alrix da Costa.
- Hull FC are currently on their longest winning run against the Dragons. In 2016, they beat them 38-10 in Perpignan in what many consider on of Hull’s best ever away performances in Super League, a narrow 28-26 win at the KCOm, a 22-8 Challenge Cup Quarter-Final victory and a 44-0 trouncing in the Super 8s.
- The sides have met 29 times in league and cup since 2006, with Hull claiming 18 wins t0 Catalans 9, giving FC a 61% win percentage.
- Hull FC have scored a total of 692 points against the Dragons since 2006.
- There have been 2 draws between the sides; 10-10 at the KC in 2007 and 28-28 the following season the following year.
Ones To Watch?
Hull FC: JAKE CONNOR
The stand-off will be hoping to impress standing in for Albert Kelly. The former Huddersfield man knows there will be a competition for places in 2017, and with a top performance on Thursday, it will be hard for Lee Radford to drop him when Kelly comes back into contention for next week’s trip to Connor’s former club.
Catalans: SAM MOA
A player that the Faithful still hold close to their hearts after his spell with the club a few years back. The forward is still a wrecking ball and will make important metres for the Dragons. FC must keep Moa quiet.
FC have a pretty decent home record against the Dragons and I think this will continue. Despite their win against Warrington last week, I’m unconvinced that they will be a threat to the top four in 2017 given they’ve had so many changes of personnel, with no less than 10 players leaving 6 coming in. Hull should make it a 5th win in a row against Catalans.
Prediction: HULL FC by 20