Warrington Wolves v Hull FC: Connor will not let talk of England curb his enthusiasm

THERE is a chuckle and then a slight pause before Hull FC's Jake Connor gives his considered answered.

Hull FC's Jake Connor (Picture: SWPix.com)

Would he tone down his now famous tendency to wind-up opponents if England coach Wayne Bennett ever asked him?

“Probably yeah. You’d have to wouldn’t you?” he replies, eventually.

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“You know it is part and parcel of the game (sledging). Yes I would. I don’t know. Probably, yeah.”

Hull FC's Jake Connor in action in Australia. (Picture: David Neilson/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ)

It doesn’t sound too convincing but perhaps that belies the confidence of a player who is currently at the top of his game. Why would he alter anything?

Warrington Wolves are the next opponents who are likely to come under attack from him not just in the football sense, where Connor’s flourishing form at stand-off has prompted talk of an England call-up, but also from his verbal sniping tonight.

Connor, for all his obvious flair and talent, has been urged by Lee Radford to tone down his nuisance factor, that trait of irritating opponents that is earning him a reputation.

However, the Hull head coach says whenever he addresses the issue with the 23-year-old it is always ‘the opposition’s fault.’

“I think Lee Radford is just with all the other ones – he’s always against me!” said Connor, whose creative quality was crucial in Sunday’s Magic Weekend win over Hull KR.

“I didn’t really do anything against Rovers. I didn’t react to anyone.

“I was gasping for air all game so I couldn’t be bothered if I’m honest!

“Sometimes I like winding up people and sometimes I don’t. It’s just on the day really. After the game we shake hands and it’s all over. It’s all fun and games.”

Predominantly a centre but now running the Hull show with halves Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly injured, Connor was named for England Knights in March but some feel he should be in England’s squad to face New Zealand in Denver on June 23.

On that prospect, Connor added: “You never know – every player dreams of it.

“I have to be consistent, keep going and one day hopefully I will but I’m just focusing on Hull, to be honest. It’s Warrington next and they’re a dangerous side.”

Indeed they are, losing for only the first time in 11 matches versus Wigan at Newcastle.