Rumours

Crooks Out – Tahu In?

When Hull FC supremo Adam Pearson announced the ‘Club Hull’ ethos following the appointment of Lee Radford 12 months ago, it was certainly met with some skepticism in this camp. The idea of a Super League club pulling together for the good of the community and embracing the ideals of the city is great on paper, but as we have seen in the past campaign, probably means very little in reality.

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Unfortunately, that ‘Club Hull’ idea is likely to be challenged even more following the events which are unfolding at the KC Stadium as we speak.

Ben Crooks, 2013’s best young player in Super League, has been allowed to depart for pastures new, a career in the NRL. Admittedly the 21-year-old has struggled to repeat his form of last year, but has he been given a fair crack of the whip?

In his place, if the grapevine is to be believed, is NRL legend and duel code international Timana Tahu, a player of undoubted distinction, but approaching his 34th birthday, not a player with many more scorching runs or big hits left in his game.

Radford refused to confirm or deny the rumours in the Hull Daily Mail, but Tahu certainly fits the bill as the FC coach looks to bring in yet another centre-cum-second-row.

“What I’ll say is I am looking for another Setaimata Sa type of player who can play centre and second row for us,” Radford said whilst at the same time remaining coy about the true identity of the player in question.

Radford’s recruitment for 2015 is certainly following a trend, the acquisition of Leon Pryce, alongside the signing of Sa and other physical units suggests he may be attempting to recreate something of that all-conquering Bradford side of the early 2000s.

It remains disappointing however that the option of bringing in Tahu came about due to the departure of Crooks, a player who if he gets his physique and, maybe more importantly, his head right, could go on to be one of the great English backs, and yet another case of ‘the one who got away’ for long suffering FC fans.

 

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NRL Speedster On His Way To Hull?

Marika Koroibete

 

Hull FC are being strongly linked with a move for Wests Tigers’ Fijian wing-man Marika Koroibete.

The 21-year-old has scored 12 tries in 15 appearances in the NRL after bursting onto the scene in explosive fashion in 2012, including a record-breaking four-try salvo against Paramatta Eels. Injuries curtailed Koroibete’s development in 2013, but he still managed to star for the Fiji Bati in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup – including a performance at the KC Stadium against England.

He was tipped as one-to-watch for the NRL in 2014, but his campaign did not get off to the best of starts when he turned up to pre-season training late for the Tigers and he appeared to fall down the pecking order when David Nofoaluma was handed a three-year extension at Campbelltown.

Many had expected Koroibete to be given a mid-season release, with Canberra Raiders or Cronulla Sharks touted as his likely destination, but Wests lost Taqele Naiyaravoro to rugby union in early May and the Fijian is likely to be retained as cover for Pat Richards, Tim Simona and Nofoaluma.

With Koroibete out of contract at the end of the season there are sure to be plenty of offers on the table for the talented youngster, however the Airlie Birds look to have offered the winger a route out of the NRL. Lee Radford has been on the lookout for a new wingman since the Tom Biggs deal was cancelled, and with Fetuli Talanoa unlikely to be offered a deal beyond 2014 and Jason Crookes’ career with the Black and Whites all but over, Koroibete could be an option.

With Hull expressing a desire to go for quality over quantity for 2015, a player of Koroibete’s undoubted ability might just fit the bill.