Props? Loose Man? It’s all a bit of a myth now isn’t it. They are middles. Middle units in the middle of the park playing Up the Middle.
Every week in this blog we’ll bring you the world of Rugby League as it happens, Monday to Sunday, with the aim of grasping your attention, your bites and your vocal cords – after all that’s what we (especially if you’re a Cas fan) do best.
W/C 22/01/2018 – Last updated: 28/01
Sunday – Loan Report
Five Hull FC players lined up for Doncaster on Sunday afternoon as the League One side hosted Batley in a pre-season friendly.
Jack Sanderson, Jordan Lane, Ross Osborne, Hakim Miloudi and Jack Downs all featured, with Osborne, Downs and Miloudi scoring a try each.
Former FC centre Connor Bower also crossed over for his first try for the club, with a late comeback almost snatching a win in a 34-36 defeat.
Saturday – Cult Hero
Brian Hancock isn’t regarded as a Hull FC legend, but his contribution to the club was massive in an era where nothing else really went for us.
Click here to read more.
Friday – Rawsthorne released
Hull FC have granted an early release to Nick Rawsthorne, with the outside back joining Championship outfit Toronto Wolfpack on a two year deal.
Rawsthorne, who played three first team games last year, told the Wolfpacks official website, “One of the biggest attractions to me was how exciting the club is and the ambition to get to Super League is something I really want to be a part of.
“This season I want to be able to break into the squad as a regular starter. With that I want to be able to help us reach the middle 8s and gain promotion to Super League.”
Rawsthorne has family in Canada and UTC would like to wish him well.
FC’s outside backs meanwhile remain strong, with Josh Griffin, Hakim Miloudi and Jack Logan all set to compete for places.
Thursday – Podcast
This weeks hour of Hull FC and rugby league wisdom is now available to listen to on Soundcloud.
To listen, click here
Wednesday – GB are back (?)
2019 will be an exciting off-season as the Great Britain Lions are finally back for a first tour since 1992 – the year London Broncos wind up merchant Garry Schofield put himself into sheer rugby league legend status. FC readers won’t like us saying that, but he was a class act wasn’t he, regardless of your opinion on his infamous move to Leeds.
GB meanwhile will tour Australasia, with a three match test-series against the Australia Kangaroos taking place.
The Green and Golds will then return the favour in 2020, coming over to the sub-zero temperatures of Great Britain, before doing so again for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
This year, England will play New Zealand in a three match test series in November, with Wigan, Huddersfield and Hull the venues.
Verdict – It’s nice to have an international calendar planned isn’t it, and well in advance may we add. Let’s hope everyone now acknowledges it and makes it a success. You never know, there might even be a game in Sydney..
Tuesday – G’wan England
The England Rugby League team are close to confirming the Denver international against New Zealand, despite the dummy spitting from some of the NRL clubs.
The test will be played on June 23rd, with an announcement potentially made by the end of the month.
But who will coach England? Well a new deal for Wayne Bennett has been circulating for a while and it’s expected to be a four-year contract.
Bennett, who took over the national side in 2016, has had mixed reviews in the role. He’s not our favourite cup of tea, but that’s cos we’re Hull FC biased and are convinced he should pick Liam Watts. You know it makes sense.
Tuesday – NRL deal announced
The fuck ups at Premier Sports may have lost the rights to the NRL fixtures, but luckily for us Sky Sports have an answer, with 2-3 games from the competition set to be aired each weekend.
Monday – Got your copy yet?
The latest edition of the Up the Cream Fanzine is available to buy online. To view it, click here
Monday – Eddie Hearn on rugby league
Rugby League’s marketing strategies get criticised all of the time, but Sports Promoter Eddie Hearn, famous for his work in Boxing and Darts, reckons he could change the sports fortunes.
“Rugby League is a great sport, rugby league has a huge fanbase. It’s just in the wrong hands, that’s all,” Hearn said.
“The world’s changed. The way that you promote sport has changed completely and anybody that doesn’t embrace the new age, is finished. That’s why it’s so difficult for older promoters now. My dad couldn’t come into boxing now and have the same effect that I’m having in it.
“People in the rugby league infrastructure look at us and say we’ve got an unbelievable relationship with Sky, ‘they’ve turned sports around that have been flat’. Could we do that in rugby league? Yeah. I believe I can do it in all sports but maybe that’s just me being arrogant.”
Monday – Faraimo impresses Radford
Bureta Faraimo definitely impressed on his Hull FC debut, with Radford praising the winger after a promising first outing in Black and White.
“He’s a smoking gun for sure, he’s not a water pistol,” Radford said in his post-match presser.
“I said when we signed him he is very similar to Mahe. If you look at his metres made today he’ll be there or thereabouts with Mahe’s numbers as well.”
Monday – The injury front
The best thing about the two pre-season games is that there’s no fresh injuries, with Hull having an almost fit squad to choose from in Round One. Jez Litten took a knock against Rovers, but he should be okay to line up for Doncaster for their season opener.
Speaking of the Dons, Jack Sanderson and Nick Rawsthorne played for them on Sunday, as they were edged out by London 16-22 at the Keepmoat.
Monday – No Worry No Watts
Liam Watts was named in the provisional squad to face Catalans, but he didn’t take to the field due to illness. Well either that, or he didn’t want to freeze his nads off playing in those conditions. Get well soon Wattsy.
Monday – Carlos speaks
Carlos Tuimavave has told League Express that he’d love to stay at the club beyond the 2018 season.
The Kiwi’s deal runs out at the end of the year.
“I’d love to stay,” he told the newspaper. “I’ve got two kids now and I want what is best for them. That said, I would love to stay.
“The buzz around here is so good. Radders brings all the families together and that transcends onto the field. We have a very strong culture here.”
Monday – Five Things
The original Hull FC Five Things column. What impressed you yesterday? For us the return of Mickey Paea, plus an impressive debut from Bureta Faraimo and much more.
For analysis, click here
Monday – Brrrrrrrr
That was cold. Cold enough to make standing in the Zeebrugge End terrace on Good Friday feel like a trip to Perpignan in the summer. But despite the snow and the Baltic temperatures floating about the KCOM, it was a good run out for a Hull FC team who showed some positives to record a 24-10 win.
For our review click here
Monday – Why Up the Middle?
One confused FC Forum listener (yes he was of a red and white persuasion), got a little puzzled to the term ‘Middle’ or ‘Middles’ when used in context with Rugby League.
A Middle is your middle unit, which consists of your props, hooker and loose forward. They play through, and defend, in the middle of the field, hence the term middle.
Like counting the number of tries Tom Briscoe scored at Wembley, it’s a pretty simple equation, and considering the East Hull outfits association with the Middle version of the 8s, you would assume they could grasp it.