Ellis up for the challenge

Gareth Ellis is hoping he can help Hull to "bigger and better things" as he prepares to lead his new employers into Super League XVIII.

The Black and Whites fought off some stiff competition to sign the England international on a three-year-deal after it was announced he would be returning home from the NRL.

As well as Ellis, coach Peter Gentle has signed stand-off Daniel Holdsworth from Salford and Ben Galea and Shannon McDonnell from city rivals Hull KR in a bid to get the Airlie Birds back amongst the big boys.

"I just think they're a club showing a lot of ambition - there's a lot of excitement around the place," Ellis told Sky Sports at the official launch for the 2013 season.

"For me, where I am in my career, it's a great challenge to be part of that. I'm really looking forward to hopefully taking the club on to bigger and better things.

"We've assembled a great squad. We haven't been together too long, so it is going to take some time to gel and get those combinations going.

"But there is certainly some talent there. We are very hopeful of our own expectations to be up there with the best of them.

"Hull has always been seen as a huge club that has had limited success in recent years. Now with all the buzz and excitement around the place, everyone is waiting for things to happen. We've bought into that as a group of players as well.

"Now it's time for us to get out on the pitch - we've had a long pre-season and now everyone is on their tip-toes and ready to go."

Ellis may be new to the KC Stadium but he knows all about his Australian boss, having worked with Gentle when the pair were both at Wests Tigers.

"I worked under him for three years at Wests Tigers as an assistant coach, so I knew him pretty well before I got here," he added.

"He's basically just picked up from where I left off. It's been a big change for me going to Hull, but there's been a bit of continuity with him there.

"He's been fantastic for me and fantastic for the other players. Everyone is learning, and that's the key part of everyone's development."

Ellis has been named as Hull's captain for 2013 and his first game in charge sees him take on former club Leeds on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.