FC announce 2023 Hooking Options
Hull FC have confirmed their dummy half options for next season with the signing of energetic hooker Brad Dwyer, alongside contract extensions for Danny Houghton and Joe Lovodua!
All three players are contracted until at least the end of 2023, in addition to academy rising star Denive Balmforth who will also be part of the first-team squad next season.
Dwyer brings real attacking quality to Hull’s spine next season and invaluable experience too, having made over 200 career appearances with 65 tries to his name.
A Challenge Cup winner with Leeds, the 29-year-old becomes the Airlie Birds’ fourth signing ahead of the 2023 Betfred Super League campaign alongside fellow Rhino Liam Sutcliffe, as well as exciting pivots Jake Trueman and Tex Hoy.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Dwyer said: “I’m really excited to be coming over and playing for Hull next season. The biggest attraction for me was playing in front of those fans – it’s an incredible fanbase, and you really get that sense of atmosphere and occasion when playing at Hull.
“Playing off the back of the pack that Hull has too was a big draw for me. I think it’ll suit me down to the ground, it really excited me about what I could bring to the club and I came away from those meetings buzzing for next season.
“It’s exciting to be part of a that spine. Having a couple of other new faces in there like Jake [Trueman] and Tex [Hoy] allows us all to put our own stamp on it and I’m really looking forward to working with Danny and Joe.”
The club fought off stiff competition from other clubs across the competition to land one of the most dynamic English hookers in the game, who could be the perfect foil for both the hardworking Houghton and versatile Lovodua.
Houghton will go around for his 17th season in Black & White in 2023 having triggered his option to continue at the club for a further 12 months.
He recently surpassed Brian Hancock as Hull FC’s leading living appearance maker, whilst currently standing eighth in the all-time charts.
The hooker has accumulated over 400 appearances for the club, including being the leading appearance maker for his side this season, and he continues to perform consistently as he stands top of the Super League’s tacklers charts once again.
“It’s an honour to represent my hometown club, so to be going around for a 17th season is something I can be really proud of,” Houghton said,
“I feel incredibly privileged to have played so many games for the club and I’m excited to continue my journey here for another year.
“It’s exciting to have Joey and Brad also in the hooker role next season. It will take a bit of pressure off my shoulders and it’ll hopefully allow me to play with more freedom, so I’m looking forward to that.”
In addition, the club have also taken the option to extend the contract of the versatile Joe Lovodua for at least another twelve months, after making a notable impression in his maiden Super League campaign.
The Fijian international made a blistering start to life at the MKM Stadium, scoring three tries in the first five rounds of the season.
His energy, work rate and flexibility are significant assets for the Black & Whites, having proven a reliable option at dummy half, as well as covering numerous other positions this season.
Lovodua said: “Firstly, I just want to thank God for everything he has done for me in my life and I’m extremely honoured to be staying at Hull for another year.
“I am so grateful to the club for giving me a chance to represent them in Super League and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them in my first season here.
“The fans who have supported me and the team every week have been brilliant and I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for embracing me and taking me in like their own.
“I want to repay the faith that the club and the fans have shown me this year and I will be working hard to recover from my injury and come back bigger and stronger in 2023.”
With a mix of youth and experience, and industry and pace, the trio look set to be a useful combination for the Black and Whites next season.
Hull FC head coach, Brett Hodgson, said: “Brad is an astute acquisition for us for next season, and I’m already looking forward to what he can bring to the group.
“Not only does he possess the creativity and skills we want from a player in that position, he also has some attributes to make himself a leader in our group next season. He is very competitive and tenacious.
“We have been looking to add some pace to the squad, and clearly Brad brings that in abundance. His pace out of dummy-half is his obvious asset and will help our attacking threat next season.
He continued, “He can be a good foil for someone like Danny Houghton who delivers real quality and consistency in his defensive work and distribution, whilst Brad can bring pace and flair.
“We can also utilise Joey Lovodua in there who is tough and carries a powerful running game, whilst his fantastic ability to slot into multiple positions is a genuine asset for us as we have seen this season.
“In addition to that, we also have a long-term option in Denive Balmforth from our Rising Stars programme who will be pushing for a place next season, and he now has three different styles of hooker to learn from next season, which is great.
“Those options at 9 and the potential combinations with our spine players is exciting for us.”