Hull FC v Hull KR: Derby clash risks ruining family occasion for Jordan Lane

HULL FC’S Jordan Lane knows his actions on the pitch tomorrow afternoon run the risk of ruining a significant family occasion in the evening but either way somebody is in trouble.

As the city divides once more for the ‘derby’ against Hull KR, the combative back-row is no different to many supporters when it comes to navigating splits between loved ones all in the name of rugby league.

However, he fully realises whatever happens when the great rivals meet at the MKM Stadium this afternoon is going to have a marked effect on events just a couple of hours later.

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Lane told The Yorkshire Post: “All my family are FC. The family of my girlfriend Morghan are all Rovers so it’s more her side of the family.

“But it’s her mum’s 50th birthday tomorrow. We’re going out for a meal after the game.

“I think the game will dictate how it goes - if we win or KR win, will depend on who’s then in a mood, either me or her dad Andy!

“I’m not really looking forward to that. That’s the divide in the family. But as well as that Andy’s dad is Phil Lowe. I think he’ll be there as well.”

Lowe, of course, is the legendary former Hull KR star who played more than 400 games for the Robins and was part of Great Britain’s last Ashes winning side in 1970 before also winning the World Cup two years later.

DERBY SPLIT: Jordan Lane admits some of his partner's family will be upset if Hull FC are victorious against Hull KR on Saturday. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

As a fellow second-row, has he offered any advice to the burgeoning 23-year-old?

Lane replied: “Now and then. But he doesn’t give too much away; I don’t think he likes FC too much.”

In all fairness, Lane’s career progress suggests he is doing just fine on his own.

He has been one of the Airlie Birds’ leading performers in 2021 and, if they are to emerge from their recent rut to overcome the resurgent Robins, you sense he will have to be at his commanding best.

LONG AWAITED: Hull FC and Hull KR last met in October 2020 with tomorrow's derby clash their first meeting this season. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Hull have lost all four games since returning from an enforced Covid lay-off last month, undoing much of their earlier good work and seeing them in danger of missing out on the top-six play-offs. Rovers, in contrast, are up to fifth and buoyant after back-to-back wins.

Lane conceded: “They have been playing well this year with some good rugby and some off-the-cuff stuff. They score a lot of tries from off-loads and keeping the ball alive so they are an exciting team to watch and a dangerous one when they want to be.

“We’ve just got to negate their strengths and hopefully we can get the job done.

“We’re trying to get back to how we started the season. We started it on fire in the first few games when everyone was just on.

“We’ve lost it the last few weeks - it’s hard to keep your consistency when every week you have different players out due to Covid - but we’re trying to get back to it.”

The expected return of England’s Jake Connor after a knee injury is a massive fillip while co-captain Marc Sneyd is also included after missing the last game against Catalans Dragons.

Full-back Jamie Shaul could play his first game of the season after recovering from ACL surgery while Andre Savelio, Jordan Johnstone and Connor Wynne all return from bans.

On his own form, Lane admitted: “I am happy with how I’m going this year. I took a new role on playing 13 as well as back-row so I’ve expanded my game a bit.

“I’d probably say it’s the best year I’ve had. I feel like I’ve really dug in most games and am doing what I can in training to keep myself on the pitch. Hopefully the results will come, too.”

He is an example of the virtues of hard work and persistence; Lane suffered two significant injuries when still just a teenager.

“I had a knee injury when I was 16 and was out for a year and then I came back, played a few games, and did my back,” he recalled.

“I was out for another year with that. When I was injured, some of my mates - like Jez Litten - debuted before me when they were 18. I didn’t debut until I was 20.

“It could have set me back but I wouldn’t have the same mindset now if that hadn’t happened.

“You feel invincible until you get injured and then you realise there’s more to it and you can’t go onto the pitch and just expect to be perfectly fine; sometimes you are going to cop an injury.

“And I will have many more. But I know how to deal with them now having had two years out of the game.”

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