Jake Connor is just getting better and better at Hull FC – so much that international recognition has now followed.
The Snake is world-class, and that’s not a bold statement. He’s such a gifted player equally at home in the centre and half back positions, the latter of which where he has really excelled in recent weeks.
Oozing class, Connor, still only 23-years-old, has now got his first call up into the squad for the upcoming Denver Test against New Zealand, something that was genuinely a shock for the talented player, despite a consistent run in the Hull FC team.
“I got a call off Jamie Peacock, I had an inkling I was in contention,” Connor admitted.
“When he told me I was in – people always say they don’t know what to say – but for once, I didn’t actually know what to say. I was speechless.
“Last year I dipped in and out of consistency with my performances, sometimes I wasn’t playing good enough and getting dropped to the bench – which I had to cope with.
“I made it a key target this year to keep playing well and getting that consistency and it’s paid off for me.
“Everyone dreams of it, I didn’t think it would be this soon, down the line I would’ve wanted to play for England before I retired, but for it to come this soon, I’m speechless, and I don’t know what to say about it, I just can’t wait to get going.
“Coming up as a kid, from where I was, to where I am now, I’ve improved massively and I’m getting the rewards out of it.”
For the England national team the upcoming test in Denver, Colorado, is groundbreaking.
Going to a nation which hopes to host the World Cup in 2025, it’s essential for the game to get some foundations in place for what could be a conquering of North America.
Hull FC will now have two representatives against the Kiwis, with Hull-born prop Scott Taylor also called up late due to an injury to George Burgess.
“Obviously the game is trying to spread its wings and expand as far out as possible and I think it’s a great idea that we’re going to play an England game in America,” Connor admitted.
“Hopefully we can attract a few of the locals down. They’re used to seeing contact sport in the NFL with some big hits, so we’ll be hoping to put some shots on and give them a bit to cheer about.
“Playing in Australia earlier this year was great and now I’m looking forward to heading off to America.”
And for Connor, there’s no doubt to who’s a key influence in his selection, and that’s his club Hull FC.
“I’m really happy because there’s some class players who could’ve stepped in just as much as me,” he admitted.
“I’ve just been concentrating on playing rugby – it’s down to Hull FC. They brings the best out of me, kind of off-the-cuff football – basically I can do what I want on the field and that’s really helped me.”