Tony Smith on why Danny Houghton remains ‘valuable asset’ amid Hull FC rebuild

TONY SMITH wants change at Hull FC, but he is delighted to have one piece of continuity going into next season.

A run of five straight defeats has ended Hull’s Super League play-off hopes and highlighted why the club are planning major changes to their squad.

And while fellow stalwarts Scott Taylor and Jamie Shaul are retiring, joining Joe Lovodua, Ben McNamara and the previously-announced departures of Adam Swift, Jake Clifford, Tevita Satae, Andre Savelio and Brad Dwyer through the exit, hooker Danny Houghton is staying on another year.

The 34-year-old former Man of Steel, who has spent his whole career at Hull and won Challenge Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, has signed a one-year deal to play a 17th season at first-team level.

“Danny will be a real valuable asset to us in all sorts of ways, both on the field and off the field,” said head coach Smith.

“He’ll bring some of our young guys on, and keep us in tune with the success the club has had – we need to imprint some of that back into our culture here, so we understand the way to go about it so we can make the culture more successful again. 

“Having people around who were part of that (previous period of success) can be very useful.”

Former Hull captain Houghton said: “Part of the reason why I wanted to extend my time was because I still feel fit and healthy. 

“I truly believe I still have lots left to give and that played a big role in helping me make my decision over my future.

“I’ve still got that fire in my belly to keep improving, both on a personal level and as a group. It’s exciting to be part of this transitional period. 

“I’m looking forward to some down time in the off-season, and then I’ll be chomping at the bit again come day one of pre-season.”