JAMIE SHAUL admits he does not want to be Hull FC’s “forgotten man” ever again.
The 23 year-old has had a frustrating season playing just 12 games for his hometown club having fallen behind Australian team-mate Jordan Rankin in the KC Stadium pecking order.
Shaul had emerged a couple of seasons ago as one of the most exciting young attacking talents in Super League only to lose his way – and his place to Jordan Rankin – this time around.
However, he returned to action in the shock win at St Helens last week and is expected to retain his spot for tonight’s visit from leaders Leeds Rhinos.
Shaul, contracted until the end of 2018, has been handed a boost, too, with news Australian Rankin will not be at the East Yorkshire club for next season.
The local product has been reassured where his future is by head coach Lee Radford and said: “I thought I started the season pretty well, then got injured, came back but had an off-game against Huddersfield and that seemed to cost me.
“The hardest thing has not been getting a run of games.
“I felt like I needed that and it was frustrating, but Razor (Rankin) was playing well too and you have to accept that.
“I’ve three years left on my contract and even if he’d signed I’d have had to battle it out next year. As it is Radders has put his trust in me and I’ve sat down with him about how important I will be to the team next year and to make sure I don’t let this happen again.
“I don’t want to be the forgotten man again.”
Shaul concedes he had been trying to imitate Rankin, the 23-year-old former Gold Coast Titan, too much in his quest to return to the side.
“I need to not try and play like Razor plays and maybe I’ve been guilty of trying to do that,” he added. “I’m not like him. I’m a running player who needs to play with confidence and do what I do best and not try to be any other player. But I was happy with my performance against Saints having been out for five weeks.”
Hull’s hopes of reaching the top-four are all but gone but Shaul said: “I want to play in all our last five games now to get some form and confidence up for next season.”