Gareth Ellis promises to lead Hull FC by example
GARETH Ellis has promised to be the leader Hull FC need both on and off the field in Super League next season.
And he says he is confident of taking his game to a new peak during his three-year deal at the KC Stadium.
The 31-year-old arrived back in the country over the weekend after bringing an end to his four-year stay in Australia with Wests Tigers.
And in an exclusive interview with the Mail, he insisted he will thrive on the expectation and be an inspirational leader for Peter Gentle's side.
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"I've been very single minded in my career so far, but now is the time in my career that I need to stand up and be a leader and a mentor to some of the young guys," Ellis told the Mail.
"Hopefully I can lead them in the same direction and they can have careers as long as I've had.
"It is not just about what you do on the field, it is what you do off the field too in and out of training. It is about how these young players conduct themselves, it is all part of being a professional rugby league player these days.
"I'm not going to try and be anything I am not, but I want to set an example and be there for any of the boys if they want advice.
"The best thing I can do is to lead by example."
Regarded as one of the world's best back-rowers, Ellis stopped off at the KC Stadium ahead of meeting with his England colleagues this week for the international series with France and Wales.
Arriving with an unblemished reputation as one of the game's leading lights following a four-year tenure at Wests that exceeded everyone's expectations, Ellis knows the pressure is on him to be a similar hit at Hull.
And in his first media interview in the UK since signing the Hull deal, Ellis stressed his desire to play a part in building a long-term blueprint for success at FC.
"It is that expectation which has brought me to this club and I share the fans' vision," he said.
"I'll embrace the pressure of this move and hopefully it will bring out my best."
Gentle is eager for Ellis to team-up with captain Andy Lynch and fellow new recruit Ben Galea to provide an inspirational core of players that can help nurture his young side.
As the club's marquee signing for 2013, Ellis will carry the weight of expectation and responsibility on his shoulders.
But the ex-Leeds Rhinos player insists he's strong enough to carry that expectation and has a clear message to the Hull fans ahead of the new campaign.
He said: "I think I can go up another level with my displays. The day you don't think you can be a better player is probably the day you pack it all in.
"I learnt a lot under Tony Smith at Leeds, then I went to Australia under Tim Sheens and played with the likes of Benji Marshall and Robbie Farrah and my game was raised again.
"I'm hoping that will happen again at Hull, I'm confident it will."