Shaun McRae to discuss futures of key Hull FC players on Australia trip
SHAUN McRae will meet with the agents of a number of key Hull FC stars as part of a 'fact-finding' trip Down Under.
The Hull director of rugby's trip includes planned two-day visits to four NRL clubs in an effort to look for ways FC could improve their organisation.
But McRae admits it would be foolish to not use the trip to meet with agents of players currently serving at the club.
And despite the focus turning to developing British talent, he says he will be discussing potential targets for 2014 and beyond if the opportunity arises.
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"It is more of a fact-finding trip than a player-finding trip, but as a result of being over there it's a good idea to have a chat about players coming out of contract," McRae told the Mail.
"It is an opportunity for me to meet up with some of the player agents in Australia, some of whom represent a few of the players we have.
"It is a chance to speak to them about their players like Tom Briscoe, Aaron Heremaia, Mark O'Meley and Brett Seymour, but also for us to look to the future too with overseas signings.
"We have to look at succession plans because there is no restriction on signing overseas players in terms of dates and it is sometimes good to get in there early."
Visiting Paramatta Eels, Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans and South Sydney Rabbitohs, McRae will spend eight days in total examining all aspects of the NRL clubs in an effort to see if Hull can gain any sort of advantage on their Super League rivals.
"In this role it is really important to continually stay up to date with current trends. We are looking at what we can bring back and implement into our organisation," added McRae.
"I'll spend a couple of days with each club and hopefully come back with some ideas we can either implement immediately, or over time."
Hull's efforts to improve their best practice has already seen conditioning coach Paul Devlin spend the first two weeks of pre-season in the NRL watching the Australian stars being put through their paces.
A trip arranged by Hull head coach Peter Gentle, Devlin visited a number of NRL sides to examine how they prepare for the start of the season.
"Paul found the trip very useful and he's come back with some great ideas he can implement into his preparation of the players," explained McRae.
"It is always useful to get a fresh approach and Paul made the most of the opportunity. We are continually striving to improve this organisation in every way we can and trips like this are part of that."