Hull FC hope departing stars will leave on a high
A DESIRE to give Hull FC’s departing players a fitting send off will be in the mind of the squad this weekend, admits coach Peter Gentle.
Regardless of the result against Huddersfield on Sunday evening, Hull will play their last game of the season at the KC Stadium.
For the likes of St Helens-bound Willie Manu and Sam Moa, who is returning to Australia, that means a final chance to play in the black and white jersey at the KC.
The popular Tongan duo are just two of a handful of players leaving Hull this season who are expected to be involved against the Giants.
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Gentle insists his side’s professional approach will mean the focus will be on winning and progressing in the play-offs, but he concedes there is bound to be an element of wanting the departing players to sign off at home in style.
“The players that are leaving are very highly thought of, and I imagine it is in the minds of the rest of the players to want to send off those guys on a good note,” he told the Mail.
“I’m sure there will be thoughts of letting players like Willie Manu go out on a high.”
Manu’s place in the Hull line-up is guaranteed, but Moa will have to sweat a little longer before discovering if he will be picked to play.
The prop has not featured for three months since tearing a bicep in the Super League victory over Huddersfield at the KC and this week went to see a specialist to get the all-clear.
Having not been ruled out of the game, Gentle says Moa still has to prove his fitness before he can be considered for a timely return.
“Sam has a few boxes to tick and if he does that he will be closer to coming into contention, but he has to do that first and we will see how he goes,” explained the Hull coach.
“I don’t think there will be too many surprises with the team and we are looking good.
“Consistency is a big factor for us and that’s what has worked well for us in the last few weeks, we’ve only made one or two little changes.
“At this time of the year that is great. The players are getting comfortable with each other because of the consistency around them and there are some nice combinations forming. They are working well together and that is pleasing to see.”
Like Moa and Manu, Sunday’s match represents a final Hull game at the KC for forward Martin Aspinwall.
The club confirmed this week the ex-Castleford Tigers player will not be offered a new contract after just one season at Hull.
But Gentle has praised Aspinwall’s performances this season and says he expects to still see him in Super League next year.
“You can’t keep everyone,” he added. “Martin has done nothing wrong and has been great for us. I am expecting him to pick up a contract at another Super league club.
“Right at this time there is not a contract for him, but you never say never. Martin has done a wonderful job for us though.”