Gareth Ellis is set to complete his first full pre-season for over a decade, and Hull coach Lee Radford believes it is not only the 32-year-old who will reap the rewards.
Injuries and international representation have hampered the second-rower’s preparation in recent years.
“It’s Gareth’s first pre-season for something like ten years and, as he will tell you himself, he is already feeling the benefits,” Radford told the Hull Daily Mail.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, having a full pre-season is going to make a massive difference and Gareth has been putting 110 per cent in to every session. Not only is that intensity helping his own fitness, it is helping us to improve as a group.
“The better we can train, the more we will benefit from that in games, so his presence on the training field has also been good for the rest of the squad too.”
Radford believes Ellis’ decision to retire from international Rugby League will see him have a second wind in a similar way Jamie Peacock did last year.
“Jamie is a mutual friend of myself and Gareth and I think he has looked at Jamie last season and seen what his retirement did for him in the last 12 months,” Radford said.
“Hopefully, it will have the same effect on Gareth and the extra rest time his body has had will help when the season gets underway.”
Hull have confirmed the arrival of Australian halfback Jordan Rankin.
The youngster landed last Saturday and had his first training session on Monday.
“It’s always good to have a full complement of players to work with, so his arrival couldn’t come soon enough,” Radford said.
“Having Jordan around will certainly be a good pick-me-up for the rest of the lads.
“We expect his arrival to lift the intensity of training, because it will give us one of our playmakers out on the training field every day.
“The more numbers we have, and the more people we can play in the right positions, the better we can train.”
Chris Tuson will miss the start of the season for Hull, however, after undergoing an operation on a disc in his back.
The new arrival was injured in training and scans show surgery was the quickest way to recover.
“It’s just a freak knock, but it won’t be long before we can get him in the side,” said Radford.