In the light of Tom Lineham’s impending departure to Warrington Wolves, Hull FC have confirmed they’ve taken up the option to extend the contract of utility back Curtis Naughton for 2016, as well as offering him a new longer term deal.
Naughton, 20, a former Bradford Bulls junior joined the black and whites from Sydney Roosters at the start of the season and has scored four tries in his first five appearances, keeping the likes of Tom Lineham and Callum Lancaster out of the team, before he suffered an injury in the Challenge Cup tie against Castleford Tigers last month.
Naughton is close to a return and could be back in contention this Saturday for the trip to Catalans.
The club had an option in their favour to extend his contract by another 12 months, which they have taken, but have also offered Naughton a longer term deal to reward his good form.
Hull coach Lee Radford has been delighted with Naughton’s contribution to the side this season.
“Curtis has really taken to the club and has been brilliant for us, on and off the field. He has had to wait patiently for his opportunity, but continued to push really hard for a chance and when it came he took it with both hands.
“His debut against St Helens was outstanding, particularly in the circumstances, and he has backed that up with some good performances since then.
“He can play on the wing or full back, which gives us some options and has proven this year that he wants a spot in the side and wants to keep it.
He added, “When we first looked at signing him a few people warned us off him, but we did our homework, gave him a chance and he has been terrific. He likes the club and the environment and is popular among the playing group.
“It was a very easy decision to make to extend his deal and we’ve offered him the security of a few extra years too. We’re looking forward to seeing him continue to grow and make a real impact at the club.”
The news comes on the back of an extended deal for fellow young starlet Callum Lancaster, who signed a three-deal last season after scoring eight tries in his first five matches for the club.
The England Academy winger also added another against high-flying Wigan earlier in this campaign, as well as eight tries in six games for the club’s under-19s side.
Whilst Hull are widely reported to be interested in a number of high-profile signings from the NRL in Australia, including another outside back, they’re yet to confirm any deals.
However, Radford hopes that are close to making some announcements.
“Our recruitment and retention work is ongoing and we are in advance discussions with a number of parties, which is very exciting for us,” said Radford.
“We’re looking at players of significant quality that we feel will improve our sides in key areas, but we don’t want to say any more than that.
“Once our work is done, our fans will be the first to know. Until then, everything is just speculation.”