Jake Connor braced for big Hull FC shake up following key Brett Hodgson decision

On Tuesday, Hull FC announced the signing of Leeds Rhinos star Liam Sutcliffe in what proved to be a surprise deal for most of the rugby league fraternity.

Sutcliffe has signed a three-year deal at the MKM Stadium after making his senior debut for Leeds back in 2013.

The 27-year-old, who has international appearances for both England and the England Knights, has 222 career appearances to his name.

A Super League Grand Final winner in 2017, Sutcliffe was also part of the squad that won the Super League in 2015.

He also has two Challenge Cup medals to his name after victories with Leeds in 2014 and 2020, as well as featuring in two World Club Challenge matches.

Speaking to hullfc.com in his first interview since signing for 2023, Sutcliffe said:

“Having spent pretty much my entire career at Leeds and being a homegrown player, it’s a big decision for me to make the move, but it’s one I’m really excited for.

“Having been over to the city and spoken to Brett, I really liked what he had to say about the club’s vision and ambition over the next few years.

“Hull is a big club – that speaks for itself, so I’m looking forward to coming into this new environment and playing my part in helping the club achieve what it is striving for.”

However, whilst Hull fans will be rubbing their hands with glee following the signing, it does beg the question of where that leaves Jake Connor.

Having been shifted from fullback to halfback to centre following the signings of Jack Walker and Will Smith, Connor has found himself roaming in the centres.

With Liam Sutcliffe, Connor Wynne and Carlos Tuimavave expected to battle it out for the centre spots in 2023, where will Connor play?

Josh Griffin is also at the club and he himself has been pushed out of the side by the ever-improving Wynne, whilst Cameron Scott can also play in the centre and Mitieli Vulikijapani has signed a new deal.

Seven players do not go into two positions so it remains to be seen where Connor fits in Brett Hodgson’s plans for next season, particularly if Hull extend Jack Walker’s deal at the MKM Stadium.

Connor has already proved that he isn’t a halfback but with Hodgson preferring Walker to Connor, it appears that the Hull boss’ loyalty now lies with the former Leeds man.

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