Hull FC’s recruitment for 2023 is seemingly complete with Tony Smith bringing in his first signing as Head Coach this week when he brought halfback Jake Clifford to the club.
Hull had already signed Leeds Rhinos duo Liam Sutcliffe and Brad Dwyer but their main focus has been on assembling a new spine with Luke Gale, Josh Reynolds and Jake Connor all leaving the club.
Jake Trueman arrives from Castleford Tigers to star in the halves whilst Hull have also brought in former Newcastle Knights duo Tex Hoy and the aforementioned Clifford to play one and seven respectively.
One man well positioned to give his take on this is former Hull FC man Mark O’Meley who has worked closely with Newcastle Knights since he left Hull FC through his role on the coaching staff.
He has spoken highly of both signings when speaking on the club’s website claiming that Clifford is better than two star signings we’ve seen in Super League in recent years.
He said: “Jake is a great young prospect. You only have to look at players like Brodie Croft and Jackson Hastings who went over there and I think Jake is miles ahead of those boys.
“He’s still learning his craft but he’s got a really good kicking game, really good vision and he’s a pretty solid defender. He’ll get over there and he’ll surprise a lot of people. The Old Faithful will show him the respect and give him the love back that he puts out on the field.”
Meanwhile, he has been very close to Hoy’s development as a player and believes he and Clifford could combine well: “Tex played in my son’s team when we moved back from England that won a comp with the Knights.
“I’ve known Tex for a while through Origin pathways and the New South Wales Cup at the Knights. Cliff and Tex played a game against the Dragons this year and they complemented each other really well.
“Tex tore the right edge apart and Cliff the left. Cliff’s kicking 40/20s, Tex is coming into the line and playing football rolling in behind.
“He’s really focused, he understands his role and what he wants to do in rugby league. I’ve had a lot more to do with Tex and I know a lot more about him than I do Cliff.”