Jake Connor is a name that is known throughout Rugby League in the northern hemisphere, probably for a lot of the wrong reasons.
The way he gets under the opposition’s skin makes him the target of fans, with his nickname ‘Jake the Snake’ often doing the rounds during the season, but it’s something that he doesn’t care about.
“Stuff like that doesn’t bother me,” Connor stated.
“I’ve probably brought it on myself with how I play but I kind of thrive on it.
“I play the game how I want to and if that doesn’t sit well with people then so be it.”
With Jamie Shaul sitting out most – if not all – of the Super League season in 2021, Connor has been handed the number one shirt by new boss Brett Hodgson. That responsibility does not faze the ex-Huddersfield star.
“It’s good, it’s different knowing what position I will be playing in before the season starts.
“Brett was a top class fullback in his time so I am learning from the best in that respect and I’m excited to kick on and see what I can do.”
Connor’s first run out in his new position came in a narrow 28-22 victory over York on Thursday night and, despite the fatigue kicking in early, the new fullback was happy with how he went.
“It was nice to blow the cobwebs off, I was feeling it a bit in the first 20 minutes, but once you push that it was all good.
“It just felt great to be back out on that field.”
Despite being out of contract at the end of the year, Connor has not yet considered a new deal. Instead, his only aim is to do well in the upcoming campaign.
“I’m not thinking about that at the minute, I’ve got a full year to kick on in a new position and we will see what happens.”
Of course, with the World Cup at the end of the year, it will be a big season for those aiming to earn a spot in Shaun Wane’s England squad. But, Hull’s new number one knows he is not the only one fighting for a place.
“I think if you ask any Englishman, they would want to play in a World Cup on home soil.
“For me, it’s all about doing well this season and other things like that will take of themselves.”