Three potential replacements for Jake Connor at Hull FC as Tony Smith prepares to put stamp on squad

JAKE Connor will no longer be a Hull FC player – that much is true.

His departure to the Huddersfield Giants was revealed earlier on today, with Connor signing a three-year deal to rejoin the club which he left six years ago.

This time, the maverick playmaker will be plying his trade under the highly-rated Ian Watson, but who could potentially replace Connor at Hull as Tony Smith prepares to land his first signing as Black and Whites boss?

Zak Hardaker

Zak Hardaker had been a key player for the Leeds Rhinos in 2022, but with the West Yorkshire club struggling with salary cap issues, it remains to be seen whether or not the 30-year-old will pen a new deal at Headingley. No doubt Hardaker would be a wanted man if not and he would be a perfect replacement for Connor at the MKM Stadium. Hardaker has made no secret of his desire to play fullback – even though he played most of 2022 in the centres – and Tony Smith could certainly weave his magic to bring in the Yorkshireman.

Jack Walker

Having had a brief spell on loan at Hull during the latter stages of last season, Jack Walker returned to Leeds as he enters the final year of his contract at Headingley. Though Walker suffered another devastating injury whilst playing at fullback for the Black and Whites, there are still high hopes for the number one that he can recover and get back to full fitness. It would make perfect sense for the 23-year-old to sign permanently for Tony Smith given he already knows the environment at Hull.

Jamie Shaul

Is it time for Jamie Shaul to be brought back in from the wilderness to make his mark on this Hull squad once more? Having fell down the pecking order under Brett Hodgson, Shaul made a loan move to Wakefield Trinity for the remainder of the 2022 season, but a permanent deal has yet to be struck. With Hodgson’s and Connor’s exit, the door remains firmly open for Shaul to rejuvenate his own career at the MKM Stadium in a brand new era for the club.