Newcastle Knights head coach Adam O’Brien has tipped Jake Clifford to return to the NRL following his stint at Hull FC.
Clifford was released from the final year of his contract with the Knights last week, agreeing to sign for Hull on a two-year deal.
It was a real coup for the Black and Whites with the 24-year-old showing huge potential during the 2022 NRL season, before falling down the pecking order later in the campaign.
And speaking to the Newcastle Herald his former coach O’Brien believes the move will bring out the best in Clifford, tipping him to return down under a better player.
“It’ll be great for him,” the Knights coach said.
“You’ve seen over the last few years, halves going over to England.
“You look at a guy like Brodie Croft going over there and getting Man Of Steel. We wish him all the best.
“This is not the end of Jake Clifford’s NRL career. This will help him no end.”
As mentioned, Clifford joins a recent trend of young NRL half-backs making the move to Super League, following Croft and Jackson Hastings.
Both Croft and Hastings have won the Man of Steel playing in the UK, with the latter later securing a deal back in the NRL with Wests Tigers.
Whether Croft and Clifford follow that route remains to be seen, but there is new excitement on the west side of Hull ahead of Clifford’s arrival.
Clifford is the second player to sign for Hull from the Knights ahead of next season, following fullback Tex Hoy to the MKM Stadium for 2023 and beyond.
Under new head coach Tony Smith, Hull are tipped for big things with impressive domestic recruits Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Dwyer and Jake Trueman joining the Newcastle Knights pair at the Airlie Birds for next year.