sport

Ellis retains Hull captaincy

Hull FC have confirmed former England international Gareth Ellis will retain the club captain role for the 2014 Super League campaign with Danny Houghton staying vice-captain.

Ellis took over as captain last season following his capture from Wests Tigers although the ex-Wakefield and Leeds man missed the start of the campaign after breaking a bone in his foot ahead of his debut against the Rhinos.

The Black and Whites finished sixth in Super League XVIII and eliminated Catalan Dragons before suffering a humiliating 76-18 exit at the hands of Huddersfield Giants, a result that cost then head coach Peter Gentle his job.

Lee Radford is now in charge and the new man at the helm has praised Ellis' leadership qualities while he has also been impressed with his physique ahead of the new season.

"Gareth's leadership qualities have been outstanding since he arrived at the club and he's just had just first full pre-season in about 10 years," Radford told the club's official website.

Leadership qualities

"Physically, he's in great shape and he's one of the most professional players I've come across during my time in the game.

"He has natural leadership qualities which have been on show throughout pre-season. Having him in from day one has benefitted him personally and also the group around him.

"I thought from previous experience that Gareth would be better second time round and I think that's shown already before a ball's been kicked. What he's done on the training field has been top drawer."

Houghton is the club's two-time Players' Player of the Year and Radford believes that the 25-year-old will eventually become club captain.

"I see a natural progression for Danny to become a long-term captain of this club and he'll assist Gaz massively this season," he continued.

"He's a bloke that everybody in the squad respects as a player. You know what you'll get with him in terms of consistency and he puts his body on the line every week. We're lucky to have two senior leaders of that quality."