Hull FC's Jake Connor labels union "too boring" in response to Eddie Jones comments

ALTHOUGH he could see the funny side of England rugby union coach Eddie Jones’ comment about his fitness and described the 15-man code as “too boring”, Hull FC’s Jake Connor knows his side’s Super League play-offs predicament is no laughing matter.

Jones, a well-known fan of rugby league, attended Warrington Wolves’ game against St Helens on Monday and was asked which Super League player he felt would go well in union.

The Australian named Hull full-back Connor, saying he was “tough and skilful” but, with a smile across his face, added he needed to work on his fitness.

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Asked about the comments, England international Connor said: “I don’t think he was wrong!

“It’s always been a thing of mine, my fitness.

“It’s something I’m always working on to get better at.

“I don’t think he’s wrong in that department but obviously I’ve never played union and it doesn’t look that hard so…”

Connor, 26, recently signed a new long-term contract at Hull, who know they must realistically win against Leeds Rhinos at Magic Weekend on Saturday to keep their play-offs hopes alive.

Hull FC's Jake Connor (ED SYKES/SWPIX)

Asked if he would ever consider switching codes, he said: “Never say never - but it looks a bit too boring for me.”

Jones spent a couple of days at Hull’s training ground earlier this season.

Connor added: “I had a few chats with him and he’s a great bloke.

“He’s a great coach and you could tell he was one of those coaches that players would really want to play for; he had that feel-good factor within the squad.

England rugby union coach Eddie Jones, far right, with Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price on Monday. (PAUL CURRIE/SWPIX)

“He’s one of those where he’d laugh and joke but he’s not afraid to just spray you in front of everyone, you can tell he has that other side.

“It was a good insight and he gave us a few good chats.”

However, Hull have needed some honest chats between themselves since Monday’s miserable 42-14 loss at lowly Salford Red Devils which left them on the outside looking in at the play-off picture.

The Black and Whites sit seventh, just outside the critical top-six with only three games remaining, ahead of the crucial contest against fifth-placed Leeds at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

One of the pre-season favourites to make a bid for Old Trafford, they have left themselves with precious little wriggle room.

Indeed, Hull have won just once in their last seven outings but that solitary victory - the derby against Hull KR a week ago - is in danger of offering false hope to their irritated fans after subsequent defeats to Castleford Tigers and struggling Salford.

Connor conceded: “It’s probably the most important game yet.

“Both teams are fighting for that play-off spot and the form we’ve been in for the last two games, it’s a must-win.

“It’s a must-win for Leeds as well as if we win this game we’ll take that momentum into the next two games.

“If we lose this, I don’t think there’s any second chances.

“We can’t rely on other teams to do us a favour any more.”

The Great Britain star says the squad have to quickly "forget" about the woeful loss at Salford.

He added: "Most teams through the league, apart from Saints and Catalans, have had that dip in form where they have lost a couple on the trot and managed to bounce back.

“We know what we’re capable of and we just need to turn up, each individual and focus on that job that needs to be done and that only.

“We need to get back to how we were playing at the beginning of the season and if we get close to that we’ll do alright.

“We’ve spoken today about it; we need to work harder for each other.

“It’s just important we win, no matter how we play."

Meanwhile, head coach Brett Hodgson has lost young prop Jack Brown for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.

“It’s bad news as he’s partially torn his labrum,” he said.

“Unfortunately, that’s him done for the year and he’ll go in for an operation next week.

“Scott Taylor’s got a back injury from the derby. We’ll give him every chance (for Saturday) but it’s doubtful.

“We’re not having much luck at the moment with injuries.”

Hull could welcome back Kiwi centre Carlos Tuimavave and full-back Jamie Shaul after their recent lay-offs which would certainly bolster chances of getting the result they require against Leeds.

Hodgson explained: “They are progressing. Whether they’ll be fit or not, I’m not sure

“I’d suggest they will be named (in the 21-man squad) and we’ll give them until game day to prove their fitness.”