Hull FC boss Andy Last explains why fit-again Scott Taylor and Marc Sneyd are so key

Hull FC's Scott Taylor (SWPIX)Hull FC's Scott Taylor (SWPIX)
Hull FC's Scott Taylor (SWPIX)
HULL FC head coach Andy Last says the return of Scott Taylor and Marc Sneyd will be key against Castleford Tigers as he explained why influential duo Danny Houghton and Josh Griffin are both missing.

England prop Taylor has not played since March due to lockdown and a long-standing back issue while half-back Sneyd missed last week’s 28-22 loss against Salford Red Devils because of Covid-related reasons.

But Hull, who have been wildly inconsistent since returning from lockdown, are without captain and former Man of Steel Houghton as well as Griffin, the centre who is in Shaun Wane’s England plans this year.

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“Danny picked up a nasty ankle injury from the Luke Yates tackle which, obviously he’s been banned for,” explained Last, the Salford prop receiving a one-game suspension.

“He’s going to miss a couple of weeks. We’ll get him ready for that Huddersfield game which comes up in about 10 days time.

“We’re just erring on the side of caution and we’ve an able deputy in Jordan Johnstone who’s performed well over the last month so it makes sense not to risk Danny.

Josh Griffin jammed his back which aggregated a disc injury from a good contact from Kallum Watkins in that Salford game.

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“He’s not responded to treatment as well as we’d have liked to and, again, with not having a game for 10 days we thought it’d be best to miss this week as he’d probably have been lame if he had played.”

Hull FC stand-off Jake Connor in action against Salford last week. He'll have Marc Sneyd back alongside him tomorrow. (PIC: JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)Hull FC stand-off Jake Connor in action against Salford last week. He'll have Marc Sneyd back alongside him tomorrow. (PIC: JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)
Hull FC stand-off Jake Connor in action against Salford last week. He'll have Marc Sneyd back alongside him tomorrow. (PIC: JONATHAN GAWTHORPE)

Missing such experience (veteran forward Gareth Ellis also remains sidelined by a knee injury) as they seek to avoid a third straight loss, the much-awaited return of 29-year-old Taylor is important.

“It’s a big game for Scott,” said Last, about the three-time Challenge Cup winner.

“It’s the longest he’s not played rugby since being six years old.

“He’s had a fair old break.

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“He’s enthusiastic and chomping at the bit. He’s brought great energy to training and hopefully we’ll get the best of Scott when he performs tomorrow.

“When at his best he’s a very, very good front rower in Super League and hopefully he gets back to something like his best form.”

Similarly, Hull will benefit from having Lance Todd Trophy winner Sneyd back in their side, especially as half-back partner Albert Kelly is still injured.

“Marc was fit to play last week but, unfortunately due to Covid protocols and test results back from family members, he wasn’t able to play the game,” explained Last.

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“But all that has come back. They are all negative. It’s just a little bit of a cold and it wasn’t even Marc who was suffering.

“We’re looking forward to having him back in the team.”

Last revealed Sneyd was deeply frustrated at missing the loss against Salford.

“Marc’s looking forward to getting out there and playing,” he added.

“He watched the game and is not the best spectator.

“He got frustrated watching our game against Salford as he felt there were periods in it where his guidance and kicking game and the way he manages the game could have been influential and could have seen us potentially get on the right side of the result.

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“Castleford is a ground he knows well as he spent a year on loan there (in 2014) and that’s an advantage, him knowing their pitch as he does.

“He was one of the players who used to box kick us to death when we played against him that year he was there so hopefully he can pull the strings for us to get a result on Thursday.”

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