Huddersfeld Giants v Hull FC: There’s no Magic at Anfield for Manchester United fan Marc Sneyd

AS MUCH as most players are elated by the chance to play at Anfield over the next 48 hours, Hull FC’s Marc Sneyd has good reason to be not quite as effusive.

Hull FC's Marc Sneyd.

Anyone who follows the Lance Todd Trophy winner on Twitter will be aware of why playing at the home of Liverpool Football Club – where Super League’s Magic Weekend heads for the first time today – is not filling him with joy.

“I’m a (Manchester) United fan so I’m not that bothered,” replied the Airlie Birds scrum-half, who spends plenty of his time on social media winding up mates who have any sort of affinity to his club’s fierce rivals.

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“I’d have happily had it (Magic) stay at Newcastle, if I’m honest. I’m not the biggest fan of going to Liverpool at any point!

”It’s probably not what people want to hear – but it’s how I feel.

“It will be a great environment to play in; it’s a good stadium and obviously you hear the atmosphere there most weeks when Liverpool are playing.

“It will be quite enjoyable but probably not as enjoyable for me as it will be for (Hull team-mate) Jake (Connor) and the Liverpool fans playing in it. For me it’s just another stadium.”

As Hull prepare to face Huddersfield Giants in the second game of today’s Magic line-up, obviously it is not the first time Sneyd has had to venture onto enemy territory.

Super League’s carnival of rugby spent three years at Etihad Stadium – home of Manchester City – from 2012 to 2014 after previous jaunts to Cardiff and Edinburgh. If, then, Sneyd wants to live out the ultimate dream of playing at Manchester United he must, of course, do so by leading Hull to the competition’s premier event – a Grand Final.

Although the 28-year-old has helped them twice win at Wembley, the East Yorkshire club have not been to Old Trafford since 2006 when current coach Lee Radford was playing and they lost their only Grand Final appearance to St Helens.

Currently, Hull sit fourth and, after an injury-dogged start, seem to be finding their feet.

The stirring win at second-placed Warrington Wolves a week ago, when missing a raft of first-teamers, certainly indicated they have discovered the requisite spirit and doggedness to compete further down the line.

Consistency – or a lack of it – has been their nemesis but Sneyd knows a third successive victory against Huddersfield today would start to suggest they can get on top of that ill, too.

Crucially, Hull – who also host Catalans Dragons in Thursday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final – are beginning to get troops back, including prop Josh Bowden who today makes a first Super League appearance in a year having recovered from major knee surgery.

Furthermore, England centre Connor, stand-off Albert Kelly and full-back Jamie Shaul are all firing, too, after missing various chunks of the season.

With Connor wanting to play No 6 this term, it was queried how Radford would utilise all his creative talents and there was even questions about whether Sneyd would be the one to drop out.

However, asked it that competition is driving his own game on, Sneyd replied: “If anything it’s probably making my role a little bit easier as you know where the threats are in our team and it’s just playing to them.

“The more you get the ball in Jake, Alby or Shauly’s hands in a little bit of space, more often than not something will come of it.

“It’s really good. Obviously we got Shauly back last week (after seven weeks out with concussion) so you just look across the board and there’s class everywhere which is only a good thing.

“Each of them can probably win you a game at the drop of a hat when they want to. It’s good to get all of them on the field at the same time and the more it happens the better it will get.

“Huddersfield will come hard at us but if we can replicate what we did at Warrington, stay in that top-five, come the end of the year we won’t be far off – and I’m fairly confident not too many teams will want us in those play-offs.”