Hull FC have confirmed the major signing of NRL halfback Jake Clifford from Newcastle Knights despite reports from Australia that the deal was unlikely due to Luke Brooks.
The 24-year-old half-back joins the Black & Whites from NRL side Newcastle Knights, signing a two-year deal with the club, with the club holding the option to extend Clifford’s stay in the UK by a further year.
FC’s fifth signing ahead of the new season, Clifford has some 67 NRL appearances under his belt since making his senior debut with the North Queensland Cowboys in 2018, before making the move to the Knights mid-way through the 2021 campaign.
One of the creative cogs in Newcastle’s side over the past season and a half, the Tully Tigers junior possesses a dangerous kicking game and is a confident goal-kicker.
The former Australia U18’s captain helped guide the Knights to their joint-best league finish since 2006 in 2020, as the New South Wales side finished 7th on the NRL ladder and qualified for the finals series – the first time since 2013.
Clifford becomes Hull’s second overseas recruit for the new campaign, following in the footsteps of teammate Tex Hoy, having learnt his trade playing alongside talented NRL players such as Johnathan Thurston, Mitchell Pearce, Kayln Ponga and Anthony Milford.
Both new overseas recruits will line-up as part of a new-look spine at Hull FC next season, including exciting young half back Jake Trueman and energetic hooker Brad Dwyer, whilst versatile outside back Liam Sutcliffe completes the new signings for 2023 so far.