Ben Crooks

20-try Crooks in Hull's Wembley line-up

Hull coach Peter Gentle insists he is not taking a risk by playing 20-year-old centre Ben Crooks in tomorrow's Challenge Cup final.

Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis and his Wigan rival Sean O'Loughlin

How Hull got to Wembley

Here is how Hull FC and Wigan got to this weekend's RL Challenge Cup Final

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Hull pull out of Bath winger move

Hull have pulled out of their move to sign Bath and England Saxons winger Tom Biggs.

Tom Biggs Credit: Press Association

The Black and Whites announced the capture of the 29-year-old Hull-born Biggs on a three-year contract last October and had hoped to have him on board as a replacement for the departed Tom Briscoe for the start of the 2014 season.

However, Biggs was unable to secure a release in time and Hull say they have now switched their sights on another replacement for Briscoe, who moved to Leeds in the winter.

A Hull spokesman said: "The player has been unable to agree an early release from his current club and Hull FC have decided to withdraw their offer with their current Super League campaign now well under way."

Hull, who fell at the first hurdle of the Tetley's Challenge Cup on Thursday night, say they could have a new signing on board inside the next fortnight.

Biggs, who is out of contract with Bath at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to Premiership rivals Worcester.

Ellis banned for Hull cup tie

Hull FC will be without captain Gareth Ellis for their Tetley's Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against Salford after he was given a two-match ban.

Gareth Ellis given two-match ban Credit: PA

The former England forward submitted an early-guilty plea to a grade C charge of making a dangerous shoulder charge during his side's 7-0 home Super League defeat by Widnes on Sunday.

It means Ellis will miss Friday's League match against Salford at the KC Stadium, as well as the cup tie between the two clubs six days later.


More of the same from Radford

Lee Radford Credit: Press Association

Hull coach Lee Radford has named an unchanged squad for the trip to St Helen's and is almost certain to stick with veteran half-back Richard Horne alongside newcomer Jordan Rankin following their opening win over Catalan Dragons, which again means no place for scrum-half Jacob Miller.

Colbon handed Hull chance

Hull have thrown experienced winger Liam Colbon a Super League lifeline.

Liam Colbon

The 29-year-old former Wigan, Hull KR and London Broncos player has signed a 12-month contract and becomes the Airlie Birds' ninth new addition for the 2014 season, although the club are still awaiting the arrival of Bath winger Tom Biggs.

The 6ft 2in Colbon was among the major clear-out at the Broncos when they moved lock, stock and barrel out of Twickenham at the end of last season and had faced an uncertain future.

A graduate of Wigan's academy, Colbon has made 132 top-flight appearances since his debut for the Warriors in 2004, and has scored 45 tries.

Preview: Weekend's rugby league action

It promises to be a big weekend for Hull as both of the city's Super League clubs get their campaigns underway. First up tonight is Hull FC - who take on the Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium.

Then on Sunday the Hull Kingston Rovers welcome Leeds Rhinos to the newly named KC Lightstream Stadium.

Chris Dawkes has assessing both clubs chances:


Warrington back-row joins Bulls

Bradford have snapped up Warrington back-row forward Danny Bridge and are now on the lookout for a new prop following confirmation of Garreth Carvell's move to Hull.

Press Association

Bulls coach Francis Cummins' already-slim resources were stretched further when Carvell, the club's major close-season signing from Warrington, pulled out of his two-year deal to return to his first professional club.

Carvell's move comes less than a week after Bradford issued a hands-off warning to Hull but it is thought the player was able to obtain a release from his contract due to the recent change of ownership.

Carvell is the second close-season signing to leave the Bulls without making a single Super League appearance, with second rower Frank Winterstein released at his own request.

Garreth Carvell has moved to Hull Credit: Press Association

Cummins has brought in Bridge, the 21-year-old younger brother of Warrington's former Bradford centre Chris Bridge, as a stop-gap measure, initially on a month's loan, and is now scouring the market for a front rower.

Bridge, who made two Super League appearances for the Wolves last season, trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday and, with an injury doubt over new signing Dale Ferguson, is likely to go straight into the Bradford side for Sunday's opening game against Castleford.

Bradford already have centre James Saltonstall on loan from Warrington and may make a move for Welsh prop Ben Evans, who spent last season on loan at Odsal but is in the Wolves squad for Thursday's game against St Helens.

The cash-strapped Bulls have lost star forwards John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead in the last six months but they received some good news this week with the decision of front rower Adam Sidlow and half-back Luke Gale to sign two-year contract extensions.

Gale, the club's new vice-captain, had been targeted by Hull and had already been linked with a move to Wakefield.

Carvell re-signs for Hull

Hull have confirmed the signing of prop Garreth Carvell for a second time and named him in their squad for their opening Super League match of the season against Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium on Friday.

Press Association

The 32-year-old joined Bradford on a two-year contract from Warrington in the close season but played only one trial match for the Bulls before seeking a move.

Carvell, who made 164 appearances for the Airlie Birds from 2001-08 including two Challenge Cup finals and the 2006 Grand Final, returns to East Yorkshire on an initial one-year contract with an option for a further 12 months.

Watts out for four weeks

Liam Watts
Liam Watts Credit: Press Association

Hull FC forward Liam Watts will miss the opening month of the First Utility Super League season because of a knee injury.

The 23-year-old former Hull KR prop sustained knee-ligament damage during his side's pre-season friendly defeat at Featherstone last weekend.

"It's obviously disappointing for us and especially Liam who is a big part of our pack," said Hull coach Lee Radford. "His presence will be missed but it presents another opportunity for another of the players."

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