Return of Eastmond of little concern for Hull’s Obst

SAM OBST insists Hull FC will not worry about the return of controversial St Helens star Kyle Eastmond today.

The England scrum-half, who will switch codes and join Bath at the end of the season, is poised to make a shock return for the injury-hit Merseysiders at the KC Stadium.

Eastmond was suspended on March 16 after making abusive gestures to the club’s fans during the home defeat to Harlequins and subsequently warned over his future conduct.

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St Helens lifted the suspension on March 25 but he was unable to reclaim his place because of the form of new half-back pairing Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell and was forced to play for the Under-20s.

More recently, Eastmond has been missing through illness but is likely to get his chance due to an injury crisis that has robbed Royce of the services of five half-backs, including that young duo plus England pair Leon Pryce and Scott Moore.

Hull’s Obst, meanwhile, will start at scrum-half for the second game running following an injury to ex-Saints No7 Sean Long and so is likely to face the lightning-quick player.

“I think Eastmond will be raring to get back out there and show what he can do,” said the former Wakefield favourite.

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“He’s had a bit of stuff off the fans and he’ll want to get them back onside but we won’t be worrying about who’s playing for Saints.

“We’ve gained a bit of confidence ourselves with two wins over Easter and we want to carry that on.

“Saints are up near the top but hopefully we can continue as we did against Hull KR and Warrington.”

The Airlie Birds are bidding to complete a third win on the bounce over the holiday period and have former Castleford forward Joe Westerman back from an ankle injury to augment their squad.

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In Long’s absence, most eyes will be on another ex-Saints favourite, Martin Gleeson, who has yet to lose in a Hull jersey since signing from Wigan, proving to be a star in their last two victories.

Obst – whose side have moved up to eighth on the back of their recent form - admitted: “Glees has been going really good.

“He’s really easy to get on with and that helps when you come into a new side.

“Over time he’ll be good for us and he’ll get even better.”