Forget 2019 and move on to 2020, says Hull FC’s Jake Connor

Jake Connor in training with England last week. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Jake Connor in training with England last week. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
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ENGLAND star Jake Connor says there will be “no hiding” for Hull FC in 2020 given the scale of their recruitment.

The utility-back is looking to put a disappointing domestic campaign behind him by flourishing for England during the World Cup Nines in Sydney this weekend and then potentially making his Great Britain debut on the tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

BAD ENDING: Hull FC's Jake Connor. Picture: Isabel Pearce/SWpix.com

BAD ENDING: Hull FC's Jake Connor. Picture: Isabel Pearce/SWpix.com

Hull’s season wilted away badly as they nosedived from second place to sixth - missing out on the play-offs entirely - in a matter of just a few disastrous weeks.

“We were just inconsistent,” conceded Connor. “It was pretty sad the way it ended; we were looking forward to getting into the play-offs and we’d started to play some good rugby but threw it away at the end.

“We couldn’t quite grab it back with some poor results. It’s just the way it is.

“I think we need to forget about this year and what we’ve done and move onto next year as I think we have a good squad for 2020 and I’m excited by the players we’ve got coming in.”

I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support I’ve been given for the last few years. It has all been building towards this and I am very happy with where I am.

Jake Connor

From the NRL, Hull have signed impressive forwards Ligi Sao and Manu Ma’u as well as returning Wests Tigers star Mahe Fonua who was part of their Wembley-winning sides in 2016 and 2017.

Closer to home, the Black and Whites have also recruited Salford Red Devils’ Dream Team second-row Josh Jones - who is the Lions squad alongside Connor - Widnes Vikings hooker Jordan Johnstone and St Helens winger Adam Swift.

Furthermore, Widnes head coach Kieron Purtill has joined as an assistant, the former England Knights boss looking to pep up Hull’s attack.

“I worked with him at Huddersfield and know what he’s about,” said Connor. “He’s a very good coach; he’ll bring something new to the team and likewise all the singings we’ve made.

“Josh Jones has been one of the best back-rowers in Super League and with Manu Ma’u and Sau we’ve signed some world-class players. We just have to put it together and perform now and there’s no hiding next year.”

On playing for England Nines, Connor added: “I can’t wait.

“I’m not the fastest so I’m a bit nervous about all these fast people bopping around.

“Hopefully I get to show what I can do with the ball and get a bit of a space to do it.

“There’s a few Hull lads here. Buerta Fairamo with the USA and Ligi (Sao) so I’ll get to see what the new signing is like and give a bit of feedback back home.”

After some time off before flying out to Sydney, he added: “It’s helped me refresh the body.

“I’d been carrying a few niggles all season so it’s kind of giving me a bit of time to get those sorted out, charge the batteries, go again and get the ball in my hand.”