Horne finds new lease of life to spark Hull

PETER Gentle has predicted 
in-form Hull FC veteran Richard Horne will eventually follow him into coaching.

The ex-Great Britain international is still only 30 years old yet clocked up his 350th game for the Airlie Birds earlier this season.

His return to the scrum-half role from full-back saw Hull secure a much-needed win at Wakefield on Easter Monday and he will continue there when Catalan Dragons arrive at the KC Stadium tomorrow.

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Horne recently signed a deal which will see him stay with his hometown club until at least the end of 2014, but head coach Gentle envisages him going on far longer.

“We give out monthly awards that the players vote on and Rich picked up the second one,” he said.

“He’s playing very well and I don’t think he needed the added pressure of being out of contract at the end of the year.

“A player of that stature in the game deserves the right to retire on their own terms.

“At the moment, that could be another two or three years.

“He’s enjoying his footy and at some stage I think there’s a coaching career waiting for him if that’s something he wants to pursue.

“He’s found a new lease of life and he’s steering us around really well.

“It hasn’t gone unnoticed in our four walls what Richard has brought to the team this season.”

Hull – seeking consecutive wins for the first time this season – should have ex-Hull KR full-back Shannon McDonnell lining up again after missing three games with a hamstring injury though youngster Jamie Shaul made an impressive two-try debut in his absence at Wakefield.

“Shannon would come straight back into the team if he’s fit,” said Gentle, about the Australian.

“He picked that players’ award up for the first month of the season.

“I don’t think he’s done much wrong since then and he’s been one of our form players, but Jamie is keeping him on his toes.

“Jamie still has a lot to work on and he understands that, but he’ll get another opportunity and maybe even this weekend.

“We’ve got another session to get through (today) and we’ll see how Shannon comes through that.

“He will have to be 100 per cent to convince me to play him as we know how well Jamie can play.”

Ninth-placed Hull have lost forwards Paul Johnson and Ben Galea to injury, however, meaning second-row Dean Hadley, 20, is the latest in line for a debut.