JOSH GRIFFIN penned a two-year contract extension at Hull as coach Brett Hodgson urged Jake Connor to carry on improving.
While centre Griffin, currently sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury, has agreed terms through to 2023, fullback Connor is among five contenders for this year’s Man of Steel award.
Connor, who will have competition from fit-again Jamie Shaul next season, also had a spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee problem while on duty for the Combined Nations All Stars against England in June.
And Hodgson, whose side dropped off badly during the latter stages of the season, said: “I think we saw his importance to us as a team when he got injured.
“Having him out was part of the reason why we lacked that winning form.
“I still see plenty of improvement in what Jake can do as well. He’s not near the potential that he has and I’m looking forward to see that grow again next season.”
Hodgson added: “Jake knows he has a lot of hard work to do and Jamie also knows he has a lot of hard work to do.
“It’s important that we have that competition for places and that’s something that we lacked in the middle to end of this year.”
Griffin was signed from Salford in 2017, helping Hull win the Challenge Cup in his first season.
The 31-year-old has scored 35 tries in 110 appearances for the club and is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season.
“It was a really easy decision for me to stay here. I love being here in Hull and at the club,” he said.
“Me and my family have settled down nicely in the five years we have been here and to be staying for at least another two is fantastic.
“All my focus is on returning to action next year and playing my part in helping the team return to the levels we know it should be at – that’s challenging for trophies.”