Houghton pays tribute to Ellis after beating him to Man of Steel

Super League Man of Steel Danny Houghton admitted that he would have no complaints if he was overlooked for England honours despite a magnificent season at club level.

The 28-year-old is in direct competition with James Roby, Daryl Clark and Josh Hodgson for what is likely to be two hooking berths in Wayne Bennett’s squad for the Four Nations, and he admits he’s done all he can to try and grab Bennett’s attention, and will now sit and wait patiently for the call-up.

“It’s a tough one internationally. I think it’s the most prized position at the moment in Super League,” he said.

“I think every single team has got a really good hooker, and if it’s not to be for me at England, I won’t hold anything against who does get picked because with Daryl Clark, James Roby and Josh Hodgson, they’ve been sensational this year and whoever gets picked I’m sure will do a great job.

“There’s been no call yet and what will be will be. I’ve done all I can now, there’s no more games left now unless I get picked. If so I’ll be over the moon, if not I’ll work hard next year and try and get in again.”

Houghton described Gareth Ellis as the ‘best player’ he’s ever played with… after taking the Man of Steel trophy ahead of his Hull FC teammate.

Hull FC’s Challenge Cup hero became the first ever Hull FC player to win the Man of Steel, finishing ahead of Ellis and Denny Solomona, who finished second and third respectively.

In a typically humble fashion, Houghton was quick to praise his nearest counterparts despite creating history for his boyhood club, specifically praising his teammate Ellis.

“I was shocked and taken aback when they announced my name – I was shocked when I got shortlisted,” he said.

“To take it – I couldn’t believe it to be fair, I couldn’t stand up.

“To beat Denny Solomona, who’s a bit freakish, and to beat Gareth Ellis – no words can describe that. Gareth is a freak for what he does for our club, he’s scary and the best player I’ve ever played with. Every time he pulls that shirt on for Hull FC he raises that dressing room 10 fold, and I can’t believe I’ve beaten him to it.”