Hull FC winger Adam Swift is now 28 years old and many people who witnessed the earlier stages of his career, after he made his Super League debut with St Helens, might have anticipated that by now he would have been an established England international along with Tommy Makinson, his then Saints team-mate on the opposite wing.
But unfortunately things didn’t go to plan for Swift, as he suffered a succession of injuries at just the wrong time, when Regan Grace appeared on the scene at St Helens in 2017.
Grace stepped into Swift’s shoes and since then he has never lost his place, forcing Swift to switch clubs in search of regular first-team rugby.
He arrived at Hull for the 2020 season, but only played five games last year, scoring three tries. A combination of injuries and the form of Ratu Naulago, Mahe Fonua and Bureta Faraimo effectively restricted his appearances.
But Naulago departed in the close season and Swift is back in the driving seat, having been selected for both of Hull’s two games so far this season. On Saturday his effort to get back to tackle Salford winger was out of the top drawer, being nominated as the Top Tackle in the League Express report of that game.
“Last year was my first year in the Hull FC shirt and I was coming from Saints with a point to prove, that I was still good enough to compete at the highest level,” says Swift.
“But injuries started to pile up and mentally it takes a toll on you.
“Now, though, I’m looking forward to this year, I really am.
“So far our consistency has set the benchmark for our performances this season and we have a side that can do amazing things.
“I’m excited for what will happen during this season.”
Swift is confident that Hull can achieve big things under their new coach Brett Hodgson.
“Brett has been a breath of fresh air; he’s a good, calm influence on the side, having made little tweaks and changes to our attacking style while also bringing a real defensive mindset.”
And Swift is equally complimentary about his new team-mate, Josh Reynolds.
“Josh has been brilliant ever since he got here,” says Swift.
“In the first week or two he looked more comfortable than I did, despite having come from an Australian summer.
“He’s very warm and easy to speak to, and at heart he’s a very humble guy.”
And Reynolds isn’t the only Hull player called Josh who Swift admires.
In Saturday’s game Swift ran for 190 metres, while his inside centre Josh Griffin ran for 217 metres, illustrating the potency of Hull’s left-side attack.
“If I’m on the left wing I’m outside Josh Griffin and he’s like a tank,” says Swift.
“He’s got a great left handed flick, and can draw in defenders and create space for his winger.
“I think Griff has a real good shot at international honours if he has a really solid year. I think he has a really good chance of getting an England position.
“He has his work cut out, but if he does what he’s capable of then I think he’ll be up for selection.”
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