Hull: FC coach Peter Gentle has been forced to turn to the club’s youngsters for tonight’s trip to Catalan Dragons in Stobart Super League with 13 players ruled out.
Eighteen-year-old England Academy hooker James Cunningham and winger Tom Lineham, 20, are set for their Black and Whites debuts if selected for a match which was postponed in February because of a frozen pitch.
Fellow Under-20’s representative Chris Green may also feature, as well as 18-year-old Ben Crooks who has been covering for the injured Will Sharp in recent weeks.
One bright bit of news for Gentle though is Ryan McGoldrick escaped a one-match suspension for colliding with referee Tim Roby following his appeal hearing this week.
“I had the senior players in my office this week and when they saw the side we have for Saturday, the overriding message was that we still have a good side,” said Gentle.
“The belief is still there from the players and the coaching staff. I agree, and I think we can go over there and cause an upset.
“It is going to be tough, it will be warm, we’ll probably not win the penalty count again, but we really think we can cause an upset.
“We know we will have to be at our best to win this one, though.”
Catalan coach Trent Robinson believes evergreen forward Steve Menzies will have no problem playing a fourth game in 16 days.
Menzies, at 38 the oldest player ever to appear in Super League, has spent the last fortnight on the road, helping the Exiles beat England before playing for his club in Monday night’s match at Warrington.
“His body is not telling him or us that he’s ready to retire,” he said.