This week saw Hull FC’s utility man Jake Connor sign a new deal and that is superb business by the East Coast team. The term utility man is usually consigned to players who are distinctly average to the extent that they aren’t able to hold down one position in the XIII on a consistent basis while also being versatile but, for the 23 year old former Huddersfield Giants player, that isn’t the case.
Jake Connor is one of the best young players in Super League at the moment and is perfectly capable of playing full back, centre and in the halves and has done just that for Hull FC this season. His best position is arguably centre and, having seen first hand his two try assists for his team against Leeds Rhinos in the Super League semi final, his creativity is a huge attribute to Hull’s attacking game. The first was a superb over the top one handed offload out to Mahe Fonua with his second being a no-look pat back from a kick to give Sika Manu the easiest of finishes and they both showcased his technical intelligence and awareness of how to utilise his skills. Drawing players and committing them frees up space for teammates and Connor does just that, such is his threat.
He is one of a handful of young English players who can count themselves slightly unfortunate to not have made it onto the plane for the World Cup in Australia but Connor shouldn’t, and won’t, let that take the gloss of what has been a great season for him. As part of the Challenge Cup winning team, he also got his first Super League hat trick against Castleford in the last match of the Super 8s showing his potency and, if 2017 is anything to go by, Connor is set for a superb campaign next season and, should he do so, he will not be far off earning an England call up.