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Five players John Cartwright is likely to sign for Hull FC

Hull FC

Hull FC are on the verge of appointing a new head coach. According to reports in Australia, Brisbane Broncos assistant coach, and the former Gold Coast Titans head coach, John Cartwright, will join the club with those reports suggesting that he’s set to sign a three-year deal at FC.

The Black and Whites are currently a club in crisis. They have won just one game this season and suffered an ignominious defeat against, the previously winless, London Broncos in their most recent Super League outing. Simon Grix has been in interim charge since Tony Smith departed the club in April. However, results have not improved since Smith left the club.

Director of Rugby, Richie Myler, has already begun the work to rebuild the FC squad, with signings such as John Asiata confirmed for next season and the likes of Oliver Holmes and Zak Hardaker being reported too. However, now that Cartwright is expected to join the club, he will want to put his own stamp on the playing squad.

We have identified five targets from the NRL that Cartwright could look to add to the Hull squad, as he begins the Herculean task of turning the club around.

Five NRL stars that John Cartwright could bring to Hull FC

Corey Oates

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Hull FC have struggled on the wings this season, and it is a position they will surely look to strengthen over the close season. Returning hero, Tom Briscoe, recently moved back to FC to add some experience to a youthful backline.

However, Hull have regularly relied upon youngsters such as 19-year-old, Lewis Martin, in a difficult season. Cartwright may decide to bring in some more experience, and there is a perfect candidate at his current club, Brisbane Broncos.

Corey Oates has played over 200 NRL games for the Broncos and has represented Queensland in State of Origin. He has scored 120 tries in a career which started in 2013, and he has been a regular at Brisbane for the last 11 seasons.

Oates has played seven times this season, after a disjointed 2023 in which he dislocated his jaw and suffered a serious knee injury. However, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he is yet to sign an extension.

Oates has been linked with a move to Catalans Dragons but Cartwright joining FC may convince Oates to move to West Hull. At six-foot three-inches tall, and 105 kilograms, he would add some much-needed punch to FC’s back line. He could be the perfect first signing for the Cartwright era.

Jordan Pereira

Hull FC

Credit: Getty Images

If Cartwright is unable to convince Oates to make the move to Hull, there is another viable option in the Broncos squad to strengthen FC on the wing. New Zealander, Jordan Pereira, is also off contract at the end of 2024, and could be sat next to Cartwright on the plane to England.

Unlike Oates, Pereira has struggled to gain regular game time in the NRL throughout a nomadic career and has played most of his rugby in the Queensland Cup. However, he has enjoyed two good spells in the NRL. He spent four seasons with St George Illawarra, where he made 39 appearances and scored 10 tries. He then joined the Broncos, where he has played less frequently. However, he has scored four tries in the six games he has played for the Broncos.

Pereira was linked with a move to Super League during the 2023 season, but a move never emerged. With his contract due to expire at the end of the 2024 season, now may be the perfect time for him to make the switch to Super League. Pereira also has an English mother, which means he could potentially apply for an English passport, removing any potential work permit issues.

Martin Taupau

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Martin Taupau is a frequent flyer in Super League’s transfer gossip columns. Ever since impressing on New Zealand’s tour to England in 2015, he has been rumoured to be on the radar of a number of English clubs. However, now aged 34, this could be the time for Taupau to finally make the move.

He is a player Cartwright knows well, as Taupau is an important member of the current Broncos side. He has made 245 appearances in the NRL, scoring 20 tries, across spells with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Manly Sea Eagles and the Broncos. He has represented New Zealand and Samoa internationally and was part of the Samoan side which reached the 2021 Rugby League World Cup final.

He has been on the periphery of the Broncos side this season, featuring just three times. He was dropped earlier in the season, after a disappointing Broncos performance in defeat in the opening round. Taupau’s contract is due to expire at the end of the 2024 season, and it appears that his spell is Brisbane is coming to an end.

Every year, a Super League club seems to be linked with a move for Taupau. Could Hull FC be the ones that finally secure his signature?

Aiden Sezer

Credit: SWpix

Aiden Sezer had an inconsistent spell in Super League, however he has found a new lease of life in the NRL, having joined the Wests Tigers after leaving Leeds Rhinos. Sezer was a contender for Man of Steel in his first year in Super League with the Huddersfield Giants, and was part of the Leeds squad which reached the 2022 Grand Final.

Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from showing the kind of form which saw him lead the Canberra Raiders to the 2019 NRL Grand Final. He was expected to be on the periphery of the Wests’ side this year but he has played eight games so far this season and is a key member of their squad. He kicked the winning drop goal as the Tigers beat the Parramatta Eels 17-16 earlier in the season.

His contract at the Tigers is up at the end of the season, and no extension has been announced. Sezer and Cartwright have some history, as Cartwright was head coach at the Gold Coast Titans when Sezer broke into the side in 2012. He featured regularly during Cartwright’s time at the Titans. With FC lacking experience in the halves, could Sezer be set to make an unexpected return to Super League under the man who gave him his debut?

Elliott Whitehead

Elliott Whitehead

Credit: Imago Images

Elliott Whitehead looked set to see out his career with the Canberra Raiders this season. His contract is due to expire, and he had talked about retirement. However, in recent weeks, reports have started to surface that Whitehead may be tempted to play on for one more year in Super League.

FC’s director of rugby, Richie Myler, has openly stated his interest in bringing Whitehead to the club. He has played 192 NRL games, having joined the Raiders in 2016. He joined the club from the Catalans Dragons, where he was a fan favourite after leaving his first club, the Bradford Bulls. Whitehead has been a regular for England throughout his career, earning 27 caps, alongside four caps for Great Britain.

He featured in the Raiders’ run to the 2019 NRL Grand Final which ultimately ended in defeat. A combative second-rower, Whitehead would add quality and experience to the FC pack. If he is tempted to play on for another season in Super League, he fits the profile perfectly for FC. Cartwright would have secured a huge coup if he could convince Whitehead to end his career in Black and White.

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