Written by John Davidson
New Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson is hoping to bring in two more players to his squad for the 2021 Super League season.
Hodgson was appointed head coach of the Black & Whites last month, taking over from interim boss Andy Last.
The East Yorkshire club has made just one signing so far in the off-season, with the arrival of Wests Tigers half Josh Reynolds.
In contrast, 11 players have departed Hull FC in Ratu Naulago, Lewis Bienek, Josh Jones, Liam Harris, Ryan Johnson, Kieran Buchanan, Gareth Ellis, Albert Kelly, Ryan Johnson, Charlie Patterson and Charlie Graham.
Former NSW State of Origin playmaker Reynolds is a like-for-like replacement for Kelly, who has returned to the NRL and linked with Brisbane Broncos.
Hodgson says he wants to bring in one or two additional players before the new campaign kicks off in March.
“We’re still looking to bring in one or two players,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“I think we’ve got the nucleus of a really good squad. If we can strengthen with another one in the middle I would say for depth, and maybe an outside back more so for the quality of depth.
“I feel that the players we had here in 2020 – I’m really happy with the way we finished the season – but obviously a hurdle too big against Wigan.
“But some areas of growth in the pre-season and hopefully bringing in one or two others will do us well.”
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Reynolds will partner Marc Sneyd in the halves, with Jake Connor expected to get the first opportunity at fullback with Jamie Shaul injured.
Ellis has hang up his boots and will join Hodgson’s coaching staff.
The former England and Great Britain international will serve as defence coach next year, with Kieron Purtill as attack coach following Last’s move to Wakefield.
“I’m excited about what Gareth can do in an assistant coaching role,” Hodgson said.
“I think he was born to help educate other people as well. He’s been such an outstanding rugby league player on both sides of the world.
“His natural progression was into coaching so the fact he’ll be taking up that opportunity is great.”