HULL FC head coach Tony Smith has given an injury update on his squad as the Black and Whites look to their first game of the Super League season against Castleford Tigers on Sunday.
Hull will be without a handful of stars going into the game, while several players will be assessed as the week progresses.
Samoa World Cup star Ligi Sao missed the friendly thrashing of Wakefield Trinity with a dead leg and Smith gave this update on the Hull FC website: “Ligi will be touch and go for the first game.
“It’s taken a while for that dead leg to bleed. The bruise is all coming out now. It was a significant one. Sometimes we think a dead leg isn’t that much and sometimes they’re not and you can run them off but this one is a bit more serious than that. It’s very tender – there’s certainly been an impact there.
“We’re hopeful that he will be fine for the first game. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll access it this week but he’s got a bit of time on his hands. He’s desperate to be ready.”
Smith also explained that both Carlos Tuimavave and Andre Savelio are “putting their hand up” for Sunday’s game, but they are 50/50 to play.
“Carlos and Andre are in the same boat in that regard. They’re both putting their hand up for Round One. We’ll assess them again before we make any decisions,” Smith continued.
“We’ve trained with pretty much the same team that ran out at Wakefield. Whether there are any tweaks to that, we’ll decide later in the week. They are the most three likely options to play. Whether we change it or not we’ll see.”
Looking ahead to the match itself, Smith those players who aren’t involved this weekend are expected to feature the following week as the Airlie Birds travel to take on Leeds.
“We’re expecting a big crowd, we’d like to entertain them and we’d like them to go home victorious. I’m not going to suggest that we’re not conscious of that but at the same time is about getting victories and having players on the field throughout the season.
“We’ve got to weigh up whether it’s worth taking risks on certain players at certain times. For Round One, if the players we’re talking about don’t play then they will play Round Two.
“I’ve got good medical advice but these are good experienced players too and they are smart enough to make the right calls on their own bodies as so I’ll put some trust in them as well.”
Hull will also go into the Round One match with five players certain to be unavailable for selection, with Jake Trueman, Connor Wynne, Jamie Shaul, Charlie Severs and Kye Armstrong all sidelined as they continue their recovery from their respective injuries.