Battle for key Black and Whites berth is on

Jake Connor and Jamie Shaul are set to slug it out for the Hull fullback berth next season.

Long-serving Shaul has returned from a long-term knee injury to feature in recent games, while absentees in other areas of Brett Hodgson’s team mean Connor has switched from fullback to the halves.

But the ex-Huddersfield player, who earlier this season signed a contract extension until 2023, has made no secret of his liking for the number-one slot.

“I’ve had to do what’s best for the team, and that’s been me in the halves and Jamie at fullback,” said the 26-year-old, who joined the Black and Whites in 2017.

“But I love fullback, the chance to create opportunities comes from there. I get more of a kick out of setting up tries than scoring them, and that’s the position for me now.

“Competition is healthy and that’s what we need in the shirt. It will only benefit me.”

Hull, who have struggled with injuries for much of a disappointing campaign, went into their final game of the season at Wakefield having won just one of their previous nine, a one-point derby success at home to Hull KR.

That led to Chairman Adam Pearson saying: “Excuses or not, the fact remains we have not performed to the standards we expect at this club or to a level at which this squad should be performing over the second half of the season, and it will be addressed.”

Connor concurred, adding: “What we have dished up recently hasn’t been good enough.

“It’s been difficult, but we have put ourselves in that spot. We can have all the coaching in the world, but we are not doing it on game day.

“We were doing things at the beginning of the season that we aren’t doing now.

“Loss after loss does affect your confidence, but there is no excuse because we turned up for Hull KR.”

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