Danny Houghton gets first shot at captaining Hull FC in 2021 - and new playing role

DANNY HOUGHTON will be the first Hull co-captain to lead the side this season but head coach Brett Hodgson then expects to “rotate” his three skippers.

The Australian announced over the weekend that Houghton, Scott Taylor and Marc Sneyd would all be co-captains in 2021 in a new format for the Black and Whites.

Hooker Houghton had been captain since 2018 with England prop Taylor his deputy but Hodgson - who took over in November - has employed a new system for his debut campaign in charge.

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Asked how it would work with three co-captains, he said: “We’ll rotate the leadership for the day, I’d imagine.

“We’ll have further conversations around that when it comes closer to the games.

“For this week (Thursday’s opening friendly at York City Knights), Danny Houghton will lead the boys around and then we’ll probably rotate the captaincy as we do.

“That will be something that will evolve as the season goes on.”

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It is not a common system although Hodgson’s former club Wests Tigers did use something similar in the NRL.

Hull FC's Danny Houghton in pre-season training (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)Hull FC's Danny Houghton in pre-season training (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)
Hull FC's Danny Houghton in pre-season training (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“There have been occasions, where Ivan Cleary did have a leadership group at Tigers,” recalled Hodgson, who was assistant at the Sydney club before moving to East Yorkshire.

“I think it was one of six. I think that is potentially too many.

“But we’re very confident that the three boys who have been given the nod will do a great job.”

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Half-back Sneyd, who turns 30 tomorrow, is the player who does not have obvious captaincy experience but Hodgson feels he is happy taking on the role.

Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)
Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“It’s probably something you need to ask Marc himself,” he said.

“But, from the conversations we had on giving him the honour, he seemed extremely happy and it was something he was really happy to take on.

“For me, it was a no-brainer in the fact that he’s our general around the field and guides us around as a team.

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“Giving him that little bit of extra responsibility shows his value to us as a squad.

“I've been extremely impressed with the work that he has done in the off-season and getting himself in with a good chance of being a real high quality player this season.”

There is a vast amount of playing experience between the trio.

Hodgson added: “They also have all their own individual attributes.

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“Tag (Taylor) is a threat in terms of his physicality for us as a team.

“Danny Houghton is a calming influence for us, too, and gets us around the pitch well.

“We’d like to think we’re going to bring Danny into the game a little bit more this season and have people running off him a little bit better than potentially what he was used to last year.

“I’m excited to see how those three connect in a way forward leading the team.”

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