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Former Hull man Miller signs for Wildcats

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have signed Australian halfback Jacob Miller on a one-year deal.

Done deal: Former Hull FC player Jacob Miller has joined Wakefield Credit: Press Association

22-year-old Miller was released by Hull FC earlier this monthand has now been snapped up by their Super League rivals for their 2015 campaign.

He made 20 appearances for the Black and Whites and is now hoping to prove himself with the Wildcats.

"Wakefield have given me a great opportunity to rediscover my best form and this is a challenge I'm eager to fulfil," said Miller, who moved to England following his release by Wests Tigers last year.

Head coach James Webster added: "Jacob's signing allows us to have greater depth and competition in the halves.

“He is similar to many players that have signed for Wakefield in that he is a young player with a point to prove and a burning desire to cement a spot in the team."

Hull FC honour Steve Prescott with shirt tribute

Hull FC will honour former player and club legend Steve Prescott by having the name of the foundation started in his memory on their shirts in place of a sponsor.

Hull FC honour Prescott with shirt tribute Credit: Hull FC

The special purple away shirt marks the club's 150th year as they celebrate the contribution of former players throughout its history.

Steve Prescott MBE played for the black and whites 107 times over two spells with the club, scoring 600 points, including 56 tries.

Set up in 2007, the Steve Prescott Foundation continues to raise funds for the Christie Cancer Hospital, Try Assist and the Oxford Transplant Foundation and the shirt was formally launched by his wife Linzi, and son's Koby and Taylor, as well as a dozen of Prescott's former team mates at the KC Stadium.

A donation will be made to the Steve Prescott Foundation from every 2015 Hull FC away shirt sold throughout the year, as well as fundraising at the Steve Prescott Cup fixture against St. Helens.

Seeing all of the former players here at the Stadium shows just what impact Stephen had on them. They have all turned out and they are all here for Hull FC as well, the club they have played for too so it was brilliant to see them all. Now Stephen is no longer around we need a number of players like these and other ambassadors to keep the Foundation going and to keep Steve's memory alive. They are all putting their hand up and participating in challenges which is just fantastic. I hope that the players will be able to take some inspiration from the shirt because I know that Steve is continuing to inspire people even though he is no longer here.

– Linzi Prescott

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Hull FC release Jacob Miller

Hull FC have released Australian scrum-half Jacob Miller from the last year of his contract, the Super League club have announced.

FC release Jacob Miller Credit: Press Association

The 22-year-old joined the Black and Whites from Wests Tigers midway through the 2013 season but fell out of favour last year and did not report back for pre-season training this week.

Now Hull have confirmed they have paid off the player, who is expected to stay in Super League and is being linked with a move to Wakefield.

The club have agreed a termination fee with the player who is now a free agent and widely expected to join another Super League club imminently," Hull said in a statement. Hull FC would like to thank Jacob for his contribution to the club over the last 18 months.

– Hull FC

Miller made 24 appearances, including the 2013 Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

Former Yorkshire Super League coaches do battle on international stage

It will be master against apprentice when Wales do battle with France in their must-win European Championship clash in Albi on Saturday afternoon.

John Kear (above) had Richard Agar as his assistant during Hull FC's Challenge Cup win Credit: Press Association

The second round of matches pits French head coach and former Hull FC and Wakefield head coach Richard Agar against his old mentor John Kear, a former England and France boss who is now in charge of his third national team after succeeding Iestyn Harris at Wales.

The 2014 European Championship is one long round of reunions for the veteran former Wakefield Head Coach Kear, who helped launch Agar's coaching career at Hull in 2004, coached Scotland captain Danny Brough at two Super League clubs and in tandem with Ireland boss Mark Aston steered Sheffield Eagles to their stunning win over Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

"I go back a long way with all three," Kear said. "I've had a very interesting last 10 or 15 years. We keep inter-twining, locking horns and it's great. It's part of the rugby league family."

Both France and Wales go into their meeting on the back of defeats and know a loss in Albi will end their hopes both of tournament success and of securing the big prize of a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series.

Kear's men will be looking to bounce back from their 42-18 defeat by Scotland while pre-tournament favourites France are reeling from a shock 22-12 loss to Ireland.

"We had a really good review of the previous performance against Scotland and we've identified areas that we need to tidy up and improve on," Kear said.

"The players' application has been first class and if they take that on to the field against France then I'll be very satisfied.

"This week will be vastly different to the Scotland game in Cumbria last Friday. We played in a howling gale and driving rain and, from the forecasts we've been getting, we'll have no rain on Saturday, 25 degree sunshine and the ground will be very firm."

Agar is poised to give a debut to Lezignan hooker John Boudebza, who this week completed a move to Hull KR, while Kear has called up four fresh faces as he rebuilds a youthful Welsh squad.

"It's exciting for the game in Wales," Kear said. "We've given a lot of people some opportunities. Some have taken them without a shadow of a doubt and are going to be here for a good few years yet."

For Wales and Ireland, who host the Scots in Dublin on Saturday afternoon, there is also the prospect of securing automatic entry into the 2017 World Cup down under.

"With the enormity of this fixture we will be looking to up our game against Scotland," Aston said. "Last week was a fantastic victory and it is important that we keep the spirit that we showed against France and build on that."

Scotland coach Steve McCormack, who celebrated 10 years in the job on Friday, reckons his side will need to find some improvement if they are to halt the improving Irish.

"A lot of people were shocked by Ireland beating France but nothing surprises me any more," said McCormack.

"We know we are going to have to be at our very best to win.

"If we play like we did in the second half against Wales we will give ourselves a chance but we've got to learn from where we went wrong in the first half."

Naughton becomes fifth Hull FC signing for 2015

Following a new deal for Callum Lancaster, Hull FC have announced the signing of another young English player with a move for Curtis Naughton from Sydney Roosters.

The former England Academy and Bradford Bulls player has spent the last year in Australia with the Roosters, but is returning to Super League with the Black and Whites for 2015 on an initial one-year deal, with the club holding the option of a further 12-months.

It makes the 19-year old Hull's fifth signing ahead of the 2015 season and adds even more competition to Lee Radford's growing number of exciting outside backs.

Former FC captain Mackey dies

Hull FC have announced that their former captain Greg Mackey has died at his home in Australia.

Greg Mackey lifting the league trophy in 1991 Credit: Press Association

A statement on the club's website said:

The former South Sydney, Illawarra, Warrington and Hull half back spent his final few days with his close family in New South Wales. He passed away earlier today.

– Hull FC

He played for FC on 95 times between 1989 and 1992, captaining Hull to the Premiership title in the 1990-91 season. He was named man of match in the club's famous victory over Widnes at Old Trafford.

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Crooks makes NRL switch

Hull have released centre Ben Crooks to enable him to take up a contract with NRL side Parramatta.

Ben Crooks is leaving Hull FC and heading Down Under Credit: Hull FC

The 21-year-old was named in the Super League Dream Team just 12 months ago after a sensational first full season in the top flight but he struggled to maintain his form this year and spent the second half of the season playing on a dual-registration with Doncaster.

Crooks had a year left on his contract but sought a release so that he could follow in the footsteps of his father Lee, who had a successful spell in Australia with Western Suburbs and Balmain in the 1980s.

Hull say they will retain the player's Super League registration in case he returns to England.

The club feel the circumstances are right for Ben to pursue this significant lifestyle and career move in a new country, particularly following recent recruitment activity.

"He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the club."

– Hull FC spokesman

Hull have been impressed with the form of centre Setaimata Sa since he joined them in mid-season and they recently announced the signing of former Gold Coast Titans threequarter Steve Michaels.

Coach Lee Radford says he is hopeful of having two more new signings finalised within the next fortnight, with one of them expected to be former Bradford full-back Curtis Naughton, who spent this year with Sydney Roosters' reserves.

Hull FC sign Australian centre Michaels

Hull FC have made Australian centre Steve Michaels their fourth signing ahead of the 2015 season.

Michaels joins FC from Australian side Gold Coast Credit: Pre

The 27-year penned a one-year deal with the Black and Whites, subject to international clearance.

I'm excited about the move. I've heard good things about the fanatical fans and the proud history of the club. It's a big challenge for me.

I've got an understanding of the club. I spoke to Lee and he informed me of the young players coming through whilst there is a bit of experience in there too. So it is exciting to be joining the club and the first thing I want to do is earn a spot and have some input in the team. We want some success in 2015.

– Steve Michaels
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