With coronavirus suspending the Super League season it’s sort of took a backseat, but there’s a Hull FC head coach vacancy still to be filled.
It’s been over a week since Lee Radford and Hull FC parted company with the duo of Andy Last and Kieron Purtill taking charge of training matters since then. They’ll be in charge for the foreseeable future, with fixtures of course cancelled until Friday 3rd April at least.
As expected there’s been an abundance of names touted about for the head coach gig, and whilst a few of them are garbage, there’s a couple that raise an eyebrow or two, especially for the bookies.
Lets take a look.
Craig Fitzgibbon – Knows this club well and has been no stranger to the Black and Whites since retiring at the end of 2011. He’s reportedly scouted for Hull whilst being assistant to Trent Robinson at Sydney Roosters, who met the Hull squad in Australia two years ago before going on to win back to back NRL Premierships. By many accounts Fitzgibbon has been tipped for a future head coach gig and whilst this would be his first role, he’s still the clear favourite at 2/1.
Danny Ward – The current London boss almost pulled off a miracle in keeping the Broncos in Super League last season. His side were eventually relegated but he never cracked under pressure and always kept his head. Ward is priced at 5/1.
Nathan Brown – Interesting inclusion considering he’s just linked up with New Zealand Warriors having been shat on at Newcastle. On that note Stephen Kearney is having a nightmare over the Tasman so throw his name in the bin. Brown however knows Super League well and there would be worse appointments. Odds also at 5/1.
Shane Flanagan – Won the NRL with Cronulla back in 2016 so there’s no doubting his coaching pedigree. However his time in the Shire wasn’t all glamorous but then again have you tried working with Ben Barba? Also 5/1 for the role.
Trent Barrett – As a player one of the best of his generation but as a coach the dury is definitely out. Absolute toilet at Manly where results and riff raff with players did the talking. However Barrett has spent a bit of time back at Penrith recently and early indications suggest their attack has improved. Bookies have him at 7/1.
Kieron Purtill – Brought into Hull FC over the off-season and apparently is one of the highest qualified coaches in the game. Highly regarded wherever he’s been and now that he has a much bigger voice it’ll be interesting to see what happens. In temporarily right now and all depends on results. Odds at 8/1.
Jason Taylor – His time at Wests ended with a big spat between him and a handful of senior players. In fact at least four of them said they wouldn’t sign on if Taylor was still the coach, most infamously Robbie Farah. Nasty stuff. Since been given some respite as one of Trent Robinson’s assistants. Priced at 10/1.
Ian Watson – What he’s done at Salford is nothing short of phenomenal. Be a more than welcome addition but odds suggest it’s unlikely. Priced at 25/1.
Daryl Powell – Steeper odds than Watson also suggests appointing Powell as Hull FC head coach is bordering on fantasy. What he’s done at Castleford though is brilliant. They play the game the right way too. Priced at 33/1.
Shaun Wane – Wasn’t shortlisted with Sporting Index and obviously he has the England national job now, but he would get the best of this group of Hull players for sure. He’ll also sort out the egos. His brand of rugby league isn’t the most flamboyant but it gets results.
Andy Last – Also no odds given, but if the players and coach react to each other during this interim period then who knows? Last has been around Hull FC a while but he’s a completely diffferent character and coach to Radford. All hypothetical but if results take off then who’s to say Last and Purtill can’t see out the season at least? Pearson has already stated that he’ll take his time here and that they’ll be no rushed appointment. Good job since he’s spent the last week abroad.
Full Odds with Sporting Index – Craig Fitzgibbon – 2/1, Danny Ward – 5/1, Nathan Brown – 5/1, Shane Flanagan – 5/1, Trent Barrett – 7/1, Kieron Purtill – 8/1, Jason Taylor – 10/1, Sean Long – 20/1, Ian Watson – 25/1, Steve McNamara – 25/1, Daryl Powell – 33/1, Gareth Ellis – 50/1, Richard Horne – 66/1, Paul Cooke – 66/1