Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the KC Stadium until the end of 2016.
The 33-year-old former England international had the pick of First Utility Super League clubs when he decided to return from the NRL three years ago and opted to pen a three-year deal with the Airlie Birds.
Although he still had 12 months left on that deal, the former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Leeds Rhinos and Wests Tigers second rower is keen to help turn around Hull’s fortunes after failing to reach the play-offs this year.
“It has been a tough year but the signs are all there for the club to progress.” Ellis said. “We have recruited well, the coaching staff are working really hard for us and (chairman) Adam Pearson remains really committed to the club, so as a player that is what you look out for.
“Hopefully I can repay some of that faith that the club has shown in me by signing me again and I will look to carry on with my best for the club for years to come.
“To have been able to secure another year on my contract is a great feeling and, just because it is only one more year, it doesn’t mean that’s what I feel I have left, because I feel I can play beyond that.”
Ellis has been one of Hull’s better players in 2014 and coach Lee Radford is re-building his side around the talismanic back rower.
“Gareth is a fantastic player and has shown why this season,” Radford said. “He is playing some of his best footy and thriving on his role as leader of this group and those efforts have probably deserved much more than how this season has panned out.”
Ellis will have a new second-row partner next season in Australian second rower Mark Minichiello, playing off a new half-back pair in Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd, and Radford says the club’s recruitment is not yet complete.
“We still have a little bit of work to do internally and have our eyes set on one, possibly two more new recruits to come into the club,” he said.
“We are talking to the players about joining the club which has so far been positive and we’ll see where that takes us.”