Radford hints at major Hull FC exits in 2019

Lee Radford is preparing to lose four of his senior players at the end of the season.

The Hull FC chief, speaking to League Express in an exclusive major interview, revealed that as many as three players could retire while another could leave for the NRL.

Radford confirmed two of the players who are likely to retire are the experience back-row duo of Sika Manu and Mark Minichiello, who both penned new one-year deals ahead of the upcoming season.

While Radford refused to reveal the identity of the other two players, speculation will inevitably see Albert Kelly’s name come up, with the halfback strongly targeted by several NRL clubs before he signed a new deal earlier this year.

Speaking to League Express, Radford said: “We’ve got to use the other end and use that negative finish to be the fuel in our fire in 2019.

“When you throw in that three will possibly retire, one will maybe look to go home and play in the NRL. If that’s not ammunition to be fired up for 2019 I don’t know what is ultimately.

“Knowing Sika Manu and Mark Minichiello like I do, they’re going to want to go out on the biggest wave they’ve ever surfed. They’re proud people and professional people. You talk about age, they’ll want to sign off on a Kevin Sinfield note. Much like Jamie Jones-Buchanan at Leeds and Danny McGuire at Hull KR, the level they have got to is because of their drive. I’m pretty sure you’re going to see a pretty big season out of the pair of them.”

With the duo likely to hang up the boots, and with another overseas star appearing likely to leave, the Black and Whites look set to face a huge recruitment drive ahead of 2020.

The full article, along with an extensive Q&A with Adam Pearson, can be seen in League Express.