Catalans Dragons v Hull FC: Coach Brett Hodgson hoping Ben McNamara can win family duel

HULL FC head coach Brett Hodgson is looking forward to seeing teenage stand-off Ben McNamara pit his wits against his father’s team for the first time tonight.

The youngster, 19, will start against Super League leaders Catalans Dragons - coached by former Hull captain Steve McNamara - in Perpignan.

With co-captain and regular scrum-half Marc Sneyd absent for the Airlie Birds, who have faced a battle to get the game on after being shut down following another Covid outbreak last week, McNamara will also take on kicking duties.

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Hodgson said: “I think he’s excited. He’s growing in what he’s trying to do in our club.

“He’s becoming a little bit more vocal which is what you need from your half-back.

“And the players have trust that he can get us around the park and knows what to do at the right time.

“Along with Josh Reynolds, who’s jumped out of his skin a little bit more and taken on a more senior role this week - which is pleasing - I’m looking forward to what they can do together.”

Asked how difficult it was to get a squad together, Hodgson insisted: “Not difficult at all.

Family battle: Hull FC's Ben McNamara faces dad Steve's Catalan Dragons tonight. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“And I’ll say that as we’ve invested a lot in some of the younger kids who have come in and we’ll get the opportunity for a couple of those boys to play tomorrow which is exciting for us as a club and as an area.

“There’s no pressure on us to perform this week.

“Covid has pretty much put a speed bump in front of what we wanted to achieve in the middle part of the season.

“But now we have to think forward and hope we can get back to the form we know we can play, whether that’s this week or the coming weeks.”

Welcome bonus: Hull forward Scott Taylor returns from injury to face the Dragons. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Hull forwards Jordan Johnstone and Andre Savelio are also banned but one plus point - “a huge boost” - is the return of England prop Scott Taylor who has missed most of the season with a foot injury.

Catalans have seen Alrix Da Costa, Paul Seguier, Joel Tomkins and Benjamin Jullien added to their injury list.