Gareth Ellis on his Super League comeback

Hull FC legend Gareth Ellis made his sensational comeback to Super League in some fashion.

The Airlie Birds juggernaut, who last played for the club at Leeds back in September 2017, answered Hull’s call of need to line up in the middles, playing his part as the club made history by being the first team to win in Golden Point via Marc Sneyd’s left boot. Obvs.

Ellis though had his moments, and testified his status as one of the true modern day greats of Hull FC. But is this comeback a one off, or will the old war horse continue to pull on the jersey in 2019?

That’s the decision the player and coach Lee Radford will make this week, but with Ellis, you always expect the unexpected.

“It was great to come out of retirement for Hull FC,” he explained. “I had forgotten just how hard rugby league is, though.

“I was straight into it all when I came on at Wigan and that’s what you want. It’s a tough game played by tough blokes; my contact lens fell out, I got a stinger on my shoulder and clashed heads with Danny Houghton in the space of five minutes.

“I knew I wouldn’t be out there for big minutes but I wanted to ensure there was a little bit of quality when I was. And what a way to win, too, and end that losing run.

“In theory I’d love to say now that I’ll do it again, but there’s a reason I retired. With 12 months out of the game though, you find the love for the game again after sitting and watching it.

“But there’s definitely a spark again; I got a bit nervous initially but then you realise there’s thousands of people trying to play Super League and I’ve got an opportunity to try and do it again and cherish it.”

Ellis certainly did that – one of his first plays of the game was to put a huge shot on Wigan’s Gabe Hamlin, the sort of collusion that those who have watched him over the last twenty years know all so well.

Offering that domineering presence everything Ellis did was with quality – laughing in the face to all who criticised his return.

“I’ve tried to enjoy it, and when you win in the manner we did, it’s a great game to be involved in,” Ellis continued.

“It was hard, really hard. It’d have been nice to have some more preparation but the reality was that when Scott Taylor got suspended, it made Radders ask me how I’d been doing. I said not enough, but I’d put my hand up when needed.

“It wasn’t ideal given how we’ve got players who could have slotted in, but he just felt that we were in a position where we were desperate and it was the influence that might have made the difference.”

And as for his comeback, there’s debate now whether Ellis will do it all again – it’s hard to believe though that he’s 38-years-old in a couple of months time.

“I’ll have to see what happens – Monday morning will decide whether I can do it all again,” he added.

“From being football manager for a year and now going into coaching, you sort of feel like you’re getting your place back at Hull FC.

“Then to throw this back in takes that away, and there’s a lot to consider. One is whether I can do it for the next few weeks or however long it is, and the other question is: do I want to? Do I want to get back in that grind and routine again? That’s another question.”

Author Image
About Dan Tomlinson 1749 Articles
Editor of Up the Cream. Once upon a time I looked like my profile pic.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.