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Starting XVII: Is this how Hull FC will line up in 2021?

Renowned for being big money spenders, Hull FC endured something of a miserable season in 2020. Lee Radford was sacked in March with assistant Andy Last coming in as interim boss.

Despite getting to the semi-finals of the end-of-season play-offs, the Airlie Birds never really looked like causing either St Helens or Wigan a problem. As such, chairman Adam Pearson has looked to Brett Hodgson to turn things around. But, just what will the Aussie’s first-team side look like in round one?

Fullback – Jake Connor

The marmite character Jake Connor played expertly at the back following Jamie Shaul’s injury and is likely to continue there. Although he will have to watch his own fitness after suffering a leg complaint in pre-season.

Wingers – Bureta Faraimo and Mahe Fonua

Despite Hodgson being keen to add another outside back into the mix, both Faraimo and Fonua finished the 2020 campaign strongly and will fancy their chances of retaining their spots, especially with the departure of Ratu Naulago.

Centres – Josh Griffin and Carlos Tuimavave

Griffin and Tuimavave have been two of the most in-form centres in Super League in recent years so it would be an almighty shock if they weren’t 3 and 4 respectively in 2021.

Halves – Josh Reynolds and Marc Sneyd

Neither need much introduction, but moving from Australia will add pressure to Reynolds who already comes with big expectations on his shoulders. Partnering him will of course be twice Lance Todd trophy winner Sneyd.

Props – Scott Taylor and Ligi Sao

Taylor spent much of 2020 on the sidelines so the barnstorming prop will be hoping for a much better 2021. Sao, meanwhile, was used as an impact forward, but has the ability to play big minutes.

Hooker – Jordan Johnstone

People may be wondering where Danny Houghton is, but this combination with Johnstone starting and Houghton off the bench worked wonders during the latter half of 2020.

Second-rowers – Andre Savelio and Manu Ma’u

Savelio and Ma’u will be under pressure from Jordan Lane to impress, but both played stellar roles in the latter half of 2020 which makes them look favourites to nail down the starting berths.

Loose-forward – Joe Cator 

One of the breakthrough performers of 2020, Cator excelled in his dynamic role in the Hull pack and will certainly feel hard done by if he is not included in Hodgson’s first-team side.

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