Hull FC have England’s best centre, believes Brett Hodgson

Josh Griffin is currently England’s leading centre, according to Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson.

Hull's Adam Swift celebrates scoring his side's first try against Wigan with Josh Griffin. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The 31-year-old former Wakefield, Castleford and Salford threequarter is in England coach Shaun Wane’s elite training squad and, coming off a man-of-the-match performance in Hull’s 18-12 win at Leeds on Sunday night, is in arguably the best form of his career.

“For me he is (England’s best centre),” Hodgson said at his weekly press conference. “It’s obviously up to Shaun Wane but, whichever way he decides to go, he won’t let down him if he chooses him. We’re really pleased with what Griff has been doing for us. Defensively he’s very strong and he’s a big presence.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The boys love him, he’s a great character in the group.”

Hull FC's Josh Griffin (centre) tackled by Wigan Warriors' Liam Byrne (left) and Oliver Partington (right).

Griffin will get another chance to press his case for a spot in the England team to play the Combined Nations All Stars in June when Hull take on champions St Helens on Friday, when he could go up against current England centre Mark Percival.

Friday’s game will also mark winger Adam Swift’s return to the Totally Wicked Stadium for the first time since he left St Helens.

Swift made just five appearances in his first season with the Black and Whites in 2020 but has started all seven league matches so far this year to justify his selection.

“I knew of his quality prior to coming to Hull after a number of years in Super League,” Hodgson said. “I knew how good he was.

“The one thing Adam needed was a little bit of confidence. He needed to trust that he was good enough to play at the level constantly, which we always knew.

“His pre-season training effort allowed him to get a start and he has held onto it.

“Adam has been excellent and there is no reason to suggest he won’t play well against his former team.”

Hodgson says prop Josh Bowden is back in contention for that match after recovering from an elbow injury.

Saints could be without both regular wingers for Friday’s game. Regan Grace is ruled out after being concussed during last Saturday’s 20-16 defeat by Catalans Dragons while Tom Makinson is still recovering from a recurrence of a foot injury.

England half-back George Williams is set for an immediate return to Super League after Canberra Raiders agreed to his release.

The 26-year-old former Wigan favourite is less than halfway through his three-year contract with his NRL club but told them of his homesickness several weeks ago.

The Raiders say they received a formal request from Williams, whose girlfriend Charlotte is expecting their first child, to be allowed to leave the club at the end of the 2021 season but have decided to release the player with immediate effect.

Wigan received an undisclosed transfer fee for Williams and, as part of the release agreement, obtained first refusal on his services should he return to Super League.

Coach Adrian Lam expressed an interest in talking to Williams about a return to his home-down club when news of his homesickness emerged but the Warriors could face competition from Warrington.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.