Hull FC will go to St Helens for their Challenge Cup sixth round tie on today without two of their overseas stars Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu, after the club agreed to release both players for international duty this.
Whilst both have played international Rugby League for New Zealand, Pritchard now captains Samoa and Manu leads Tonga.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford said: “It’s a fantastic honour for both of them to captain their countries and we would like to wish them well for the match.
“It’s important for the growth of the international game that they’re both turning out for Samoa and Tonga and great recognition for the club that we have two international captains in our ranks.
“We’re obviously going to miss them next week but with Gareth [Ellis] and Mark [Minichiello] both returning we have some first class replacements to come back into the side in their absence in what is a huge game for the club.
“Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Frank and Sika on their selection with their respect nations.”
Hull’s actions are in contrast to those of Brisbane Broncos under new England coach Wayne Bennett, who has prevented Samoan star Anthony Milford from playing for his country in Saturday’s Test