Hull FC announced a couple of months ago that four of their more younger players, Jack Sanderson, Jordan Lane, Jez Litten and Ross Osborne, will spend the 2018 season on loan at Doncaster.
Here’s the lowdown on the four players and what beneficiaries they’ll get playing in League One.
A stalwart of Richard Horne’s Reserve side over 2016 and 2017, Sando featured in every game. What does that tell you? Well he’s obviously well conditioned and his form warranted a consistent run in the side. The teenager is Lee Radford’s sort of winger. He doesn’t get a bucket load of tries, but he does everything else right. He’s solid under the high bomb, finds his front more than most at the play of the ball, and when he gets his opportunities he finishes them. He could well end up forming a right edge partnership with former FC man Connor Bower, which will give him some familiarity. Physically he’s developing, well allegedly, as the “best wrestler” at the club, a self-proclaimed tag, but never-the-less it should put him in good stead at dealing with the physicality of playing in an open age league, something he must do if he holds any first team aspirations at the Black and Whites.
Big fan of Laney. He’s a very talented player that has come back from two bad injuries in the past three years. A back rower by trade, and a skilful one at that, he runs great lines and is capable of punching holes in the defence. No stranger to the League One competition, he played a handful of games for Doncaster at the end of last season, staring in the Dons’ spirited display at promotion runaways Toronto. 2018 is a big test for him. He missed half of 2017 with a back injury and needs a full season to show what he’s all about. If he stays fit and in form he’ll flourish in this league, and hopefully that’ll catch the eyes of the coaching staff at Hull FC.
Making his Super League debut last season fans got a taste of what Jez is all about. There doesn’t need to be a sequence of superlatives here – he is a class act. He plays what he sees and if you give him a quick play of the ball he’s gone. Explosive, full of pace and with his distribution improving all of the time he’s developing all of the skill sets required to be a modern-day number nine. A former England Academy player, Jez was converted from the halves to hooker, and it’s been the best move of his career. He’s stood out at both Academy and Reserve level, but now the challenge will be to replicate it against men week in week out. That won’t be a problem with regular gym work and the faith in a coach that will let him express himself. If he keeps his head in check he’s got a massive future in the game and let’s hope that future is with the Black and Whites.
Slightly younger than the more ‘senior’ youngsters at the club, Ross is a mobile prop, which is surprising given his size. He’s a big physical specimen and packs a punch, but he’ll be aiming to further improve his conditioning in 2018 in order to last longer with his stints. He scores a lot of tries for a front rower too and is very dangerous near the try-line – as least based on his Academy exploits. A season long loan spell in an open age league is exactly what he needs, testing himself against seasoned pros, and it will be crucial to his development.
Playing under Richard Horne
This is a big deal and it’s great that Hull FC’s youngsters will be playing under a coach who’s aided their development since 2015. From our own selfish desires, we want our lads to get a regular crack in the Doncaster line up, and Horne you’d like to think will ensure this happens. He knows these lads inside out and will get the best out of them. It should be a mutual benefit to both parties. The likes of Dean Hadley and Jansin Turgut have benefited by playing for Doncaster before. It’s been a successful dual reg partnership and hopefully that will continue with our boys aiding the League One’s outfit push for promotion.