Tony Smith reveals why Hull FC allowed Josh Griffin to join Wakefield Trinity

Transfers have been dominating discussion and we have seen announcements from the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Hull FC.

Whilst Hull KR were bringing in an immediate signing, the Black and Whites agreed a mutual exit. The Robins drafted in NRL star Brad Schneider as Hull FC confirmed the exit of Josh Griffin allowing him to join Wakefield Trinity.

Griffin was in red-hot form with a hat-trick against Warrington at the Magic Weekend and was having a great game against St Helens until he was sent off for dissent and then banned for seven games.

He was then allowed to join Trinity, being released from his Hull contract, and the Airlie Birds head coach Tony Smith has explained the club’s decision behind letting Griffin leave.

“He was off-contract at the end of the year and we weren’t going to renew his contract and he is currently suspended, so it was okay for him and his agent to look around and see if they could get an earlier proposition and we wouldn’t stand in his way.

“We have supported him in that respect but we weren’t in a position to offer him anything for next year – it is a way for Josh to extend his career and I am pleased for him and grateful for what he has done for the club. I wish him well for the rest of his career.”

When asked if the ban was a factor in his departure, Smith went into detail on it and why Hull believed it was the right time to allow long-serving Griffin to depart the club.

“Oh yeah, of course,” said Smith when asked if the ban led to his early departure. “He was playing for a contract this season and the fact that he wasn’t able to play for a number of weeks of course made our minds up.

“That was a fair chunk of the season so that has an effect which limits the amount of chances to prove himself that he could spend a full season on the park.”

Despite the ban, the decision to allow Griffin to leave had come as a surprise to many Hull fans who were of the belief that the centre-turned-back-rower had done enough to earn at least a new on-year extension at the MKM Stadium.

Described by many in the media as one of the form players in Super League at the moment prior to his suspension, Smith explained that the decision wasn’t made on a whim despite Griffin’s sudden exit to West Yorkshire.

“A lot of those factors are considered,” Smith confirmed. “Did that (the ban) have a factor in the retention or not? Yes it did, but we have looked in detail at what we have already and what we want for next season.

“It may look as though the club have disregarded him because he got banned, but it’s the opposite really because the club have honoured a long-serving player by giving him extra time to find a new club during the current season.

“That’s obviously something he was free to do but we encouraged it because it’s not fair to leave the player in limbo when he’s not got a club for next season and he won’t be playing for the next few weeks.

“These players have to make plans like anyone else in life and I’m pleased Josh has a plan now because he will have been a little worried that his career was at an uncertain stage when he got banned – it’s the best possible solution for him.”