Amidst an injury and disciplinary crisis both due to their misfortune and own errors of judgement, Hull FC boss Lee Radford has invited a club icon to return to training with the first team ahead of Magic Weekend.
The Airlie Birds’ all-time record try scorer Kirk Yeaman, a man who retired from playing at the end of the 2016 campaign after winning the club’s first Wembley final as they lifted the Challenge Cup. At the moment, his welcome back into the first team fold is being viewed as something of a last resort should the club be struggling for troops for the Hull derby in Newcastle next weekend and it would be a sensational return to the game for the record scorer in matches between the two.
Since retiring, 34 year old Yeaman has been involved in Radford’s coaching staff in the conditioning department and, as such, has kept himself in decent shape. While his inclusion is currently viewed as unlikely, more will become clear over the coming days as both disciplinary issues are examined and injuries are assessed; when the RFL’s disciplinary group determine the outcomes of Bureta Faraimo’s red card at Featherstone – his second of the season – and Josh Griffin’s unpunished punch on Gareth Hock on Monday, it may well leave Super League’s fourth placed team with a depleted backline. The injuries suffered by Carlos Tuimavave, likely to feature in the halves if – and it’s a big if – he recovers in time from what looked a bad injury, and Fetuli Talanoa could leave FC without further first choices ahead of one of their biggest matches of the season.
A team with a lengthy injury list as it stands, the return of Yeaman would be something to give the Hull FC fans a spring in their step and enthusiasm, and it would also provide Radford with the option of including a man who was highly reliable during his playing career.