How the Australian press reacted to Hull FC signing Jake Clifford from Newcastle Knights

Last night Hull FC confirmed a major signing from the NRL.

They confirmed the arrival of Newcastle Knights halfback Jake Clifford to the club who joins Tex Hoy at the club allowing Hoy to replace Jake Connor at fullback as Jake Trueman joins Clifford in the halves.

He has signed a two-year deal, but how did the Australian press view the loss of a former Under 20s player of the year to Super League.

Well Fox League described him as an “unwanted half” and drew attention to the lack of game time he was getting in the NRL. They said: “The 24-year-old featured in only 12 games in 2022 and has signed a two-year deal that has an option to return to the NRL at any point.”

The Daily Telegraph meanwhile provided great insight into the deal, revealing when he would arrive in England and maintaining he wants to return to the NRL: “The talented 24-year-old was on the outer with Knights coach Adam O’Brien but will now attempt to resurrect his career under Tony Smith in England.

“It is understood Clifford has signed a two-year deal but the contract has an option that will allow him to return to the NRL at any point.

“Clifford is expected to make the move prior to Christmas.

“Hull have also signed Clifford’s former Knights teammate Tex Hoy to play fullback.

“Clifford is understood to maintain hopes of returning to the NRL at some stage in the future.”

Lastly, Zerotackle believed the deal was done to allow Newcastle to use their cap space on more pressing matters: “Clifford’s deal with the club was worth approximately $400,000 for next season, so his departure gives the Knights more wiggle room in the salary cap as they continue to pursue Brooks.

“The Knights have retained the services of Adam Clune and Tyson Gamble, who recently joined the club from Brisbane, to provide competition for the halves – but it’s understood Ponga is already a certainty.”

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