What Jake Connor’s surprise move to Huddersfield Giants could mean for Wakefield Trinity, Leeds Rhinos and Newcastle Knights

This morning one of the biggest stories of the seasons was confirmed and it’s a tale that if I told you at the start of the year, you would have never believed me.

Jake Connor is returning to Huddersfield Giants in 2023, the club he made his name originally before starring for Hull FC over the last few years.

Despite that, he is set to return to the John Smith’s Stadium despite the fact they have an abundance of fullbacks including Will Pryce, Tui Lolohea and Ashton Golding.

However, one of those has long been rumoured to be leaving the John Smith’s Stadium in the shape of Pryce.

Perhaps the most exciting young player in Super League and has reportedly signed for Newcastle Knights for 2024 alongside Kai Pearce-Paul. The Knights have been pursuing both for 2023 as well but have struggled thus far and today’s news won’t have hurt the Knights’ chances of getting Pryce early though nothing yet has been confirmed for Pryce in 2023.

However, having players of Connor’s and Lolohea’s quality will no doubt make losing him a touch easier for the Giants if this exit now or in a year comes to pass.

So, Huddersfield have fullbacks galore, but now Hull FC don’t though they do have one first team fullback in Jamie Shaul.

Shaul was Hull’s number one for a long time and helped them to back-to-back Challenge Cup Final wins but had been displaced by Connor in recent years under Brett Hodgson.

Shaul was widely expected to join Wakefield Trinity in 2023 after a successful loan spell at Belle Vue in 2022. He’s still contracted to Hull for 2023 and could today’s news see Hull FC move to keep him at the back?

Well, earlier tonight Serious About Rugby League exclusively confirmed that Shaul’s future is still undecided which is bad news for Wakefield.

Hull may also turn to Tex Hoy at fullback who joins the club from the NRL ahead of next season and though capable of playing in the halves, he has predominately played fullback.

This would leave the Black and Whites potentially needing a number seven unless they turn to youngster Ben McNamara.

That said, Hull have confirmed that they will be making a signing in the next couple of days and many believe the man who arrives will come from Leeds.

Jack Walker shone at the MKM Stadium last year on loan from Leeds before injury derailed things for him.

Walker had fallen behind the returning Zak Hardaker and Richie Myler at Leeds, so a move away was likely before that injury despite the fact he was contracted until the end of 2023.

However, with Leeds’ salary cap fully spent up for 2023, Hardaker’s future has now come into question with the Rhinos having no space for him at this present moment.

So, could he head to Hull FC?

Either way, it seems one of Walker and Hardaker will leave Headingley for Hull in the coming days.

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