Hull FC's fringe players urged to press first-team claims in York friendly
SHAUN McRae says Hull FC's friendly game at York is the perfect opportunity for the club's fringe players to impress both coaches.
Hull will take a youthful side to the Huntington Stadium on Sunday for the Black and Whites' final pre-season game of the year.
With coach Peter Gentle not selecting any of the 17 players he intends to feature five days later in the Super League opener at Leeds, the game represents a chance for Hull's younger players to impress.
Hull have forged a partnership with the Knights which will see up to five players available to play for the Championship side each week.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
So far eight of the first-team squad have agreed a dual registration deal, with Ben Crooks, Chris Green, Josh Bowden, Jack Briscoe, Liam Kent, Dean Hadley, Jamie Shaul and Danny Nicklas signed with Hull and York.
Not guaranteed a place in either the Hull or York teams for the start of the season, McRae says Sunday's friendly is the ideal chance for the young players to showcase their talents not just to Gentle, but York coach Gary Thornton.
"It is quite ironic really that a lot of the boys playing for us on Sunday could well be lining up a week later in York's first game of the season," McRae told the Mail.
"York are only allowed to play five of our players at a time and there are no guarantees they will get in the York team, that is up to Gary to decide on how he wants to structure his team.
"This game is a chance for them to impress both coaches. They can remind Peter of what they can do, as well as showcasing their talents to Gary."
Gentle is unwilling to risk any of his senior players at York because of the impending season opener, but the likes of full-back Shaul, back-row Hadley and half-back Nicklas are set to play.
A further decision will be made later in the week with regards to the further make-up of the team that travels to York, with one or two familiar faces possibly involved.
"Peter isn't changing his philosophy with regard to how he's approaching this game, but he may put one or two guys in there who played against Hull KR," added McRae.
The dual registration deal with York will provide an avenue this season for Hull's players to get game time if not involved in Super League matches.
The shake-up of the reserves to an under-19s competition with no over-age players means the players not selected by Gentle will have no avenue to play games unless they are selected to represent York.
Rules prevent York from fielding more than five dual registered players, meaning only a maximum of 22 players from Hull's 32-man squad can play senior games each week, although James Cunningham, Alex Starling and Ryan Wilson still qualify for the club's under-19s.