Tony Smith on the future of Andre Savelio, Jamie Shaul and Josh Griffin at Hull FC

HULL FC head coach Tony Smith has some difficult decisions to make as the Black and Whites’ boss in terms of retention in 2023.

A whole host of players are out of contract at the end of the year, including Andre Savelio, Jamie Shaul and Josh Griffin – three players who have had very different trajectories at Hull in recent years.

In terms of discussing potential extensions, Smith had this to say on Savelio: “We will discuss those at the right and appropriate times and we will discuss those in private. If you are playing well it helps you of course,” Smith told BBC Radio Humberside.

“If you aren’t on the park it makes it easy for other decisions to be made but he is certainly going in the right direction for talks about his future with this club for sure whilst ever he is playing well.

“He can only manage the bits he can manage and that is his performance. He is approaching it the right way.”

Smith also gave an update on Jamie Shaul, complimenting the livewire for his attitude.

“His head was in first grade last week and he played well – he was great. It was only his second game in the first-team this year and we weren’t sure if he would get a game before the season started.

“I thought he gave us good energy and showed a bit of his old and new self. He certainly fit into the team and ran a whole heap of metres. After not playing at that level for that some time and one match in 12 months in that position, he made a good first of it.

“He has been a great character around the place, he had a reputation of being a little bit off it but that’s been further from the truth since I’ve been here.”

Of course, talk also shifted to the future of Josh Griffin, but with the Hull man currently serving a long-term ban, it isn’t an ideal scenario, according to Smith.

“It’s not ideal for Josh or the club in that respect, it puts things on hold for the moment that’s for sure.

“When you’re playing for a contract and you can’t play it makes difficult to drive that point home and we will have to pick that up later on.”