Hull FC selection headache welcomed by Lee Radford ahead of derby with Hull KR

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HULL FC head coach Lee Radford admits he is “loving” having selection headaches of the right kind for once.

He takes his side into tomorrow’s derby with Hull KR having lost key forwards Gareth Ellis and Manu Ma’u to injury yet still has options available to him.

BACK IN THE GAME: Danny Houghton returns to the Hull FC squad in time for Friday's derby encounter. Picture: Ash Allen/SWpix.com

BACK IN THE GAME: Danny Houghton returns to the Hull FC squad in time for Friday's derby encounter. Picture: Ash Allen/SWpix.com

Stars such as Mahe Fonua, Albert Kelly and Adam Swift did not even make the matchday 17 for Sunday’s impressive 30-4 win at Leeds Rhinos.

They all now come into contention to face Rovers along with captain Danny Houghton –who returns in the 21-man squad after injury – and England Knights prop Masi Matongo.

“I’m loving it,” said Radford, when asked about squad depth.

“I’m getting coffees bought for me by the players, some of them are bringing cup cakes to me in the morning.

I’m loving it. I’m getting coffees bought for me by the players, some of them are bringing cup cakes to me in the morning. It’s fantastic. I should have got a bigger squad years ago!

Hull FC coach, Lee Radford

“It’s fantastic. I should have got a bigger squad years ago!

“There were some solid performances against Leeds but likewise there are some blokes who aren’t playing, who are going above and beyond as well.

“There’s a lot doing the right thing and that’s what you want as a head coach. There’s been a few in the injury room this week but if they’re not 100 per cent we know we’ve got some pretty talented blokes not involved who we can now give a crack to.”

Tony Smith’s Rovers are favourites for relegation but got off to a great start with Friday’s win over Wakefield.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE: Hull FC coach Lee Radford. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

SPOILT FOR CHOICE: Hull FC coach Lee Radford. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“What it says on the tin is what you get with KR,” said Radford.

“Tony has gone out and recruited a young, energetic group. I went to watch them on Friday and that was evident in their performance.”

Injury-hit Castleford Tigers have England back-row Oli Holmes back in contention against Wigan Warriors tomorrow but up to five youngsters could debut.