Brett Hodgson will be checking in regularly with Hull FC’s medical team over the coming days as he ponders his options for next weekend’s clash with Leigh Centurions.
Just days after losing Josh Griffin for the season with an Achilles injury, Carlos Tuimavave and Cam Scott could be seen being helped off the Wheldon Road pitch with respective hamstring and shoulder injuries.
The Black and Whites will know more in the coming days when both players have been properly assessed, but Hodgson wasn’t feeling positive about either injury after the game.
Should they be ruled out of Saturday’s trip to the Leigh Sports Village, Hull will be without four recognised centres, including Jude Ferreira, who is recovering from a shoulder injury and isn’t expected to be fit for another few weeks.
With that in mind, Hull Live take a look at the head coach’s remaining outside back options.
The Fijian is the most likely option to step into the side next weekend and make his competitive debut for the Black and Whites.
Vulikijapani joined the club on trial in February and after catching the eye in training, he penned a one-year deal at the KCOM Stadium to give the head coach some depth on the edge.
Of course, he is still relatively new to rugby league having playing rugby union and seven before linking up with Hull, but a fortnight on loan at Championship club Bradford Bulls will have provided valuable experience.
He impressed in his two appearances for the Bulls by all accounts and Hodgson could be set to give him the nod this week.
Last season this might have been the obvious choice given Connor has represented England and Great Britain as a centre in the past.
However, the 26-year-old has found consistency and stability in the full-back role under Hodgson this season and it seems unlikely he will be moved away from that.
Hodgson has already shown a reluctance to switch him from full-back to half-back this season in the absence of Josh Reynolds and a move to centre probably isn’t on the cards either.
Nevertheless, he knows the position well and with youngster Connor Wynne able to play at full-back, it might make sense for some.
The 20-year-old has been patiently waiting for his chance this season, his only game time at his parent club being a brief stint off the bench against Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup.
But, he could be called upon this weekend to fill in for Connor at the back, as mentioned above, or play centre himself.
He probably isn’t at the top of Hodgson’s list, but he does have experience in the role having played there for the club’s reserve side on occasion in the past.
With Tuimavave and Scott sat in Hull’s Wheldon Road dugout nursing injuries, Hodgson turned to Lane to fill in on the edge for the final minutes of the game.
He won’t have been entirely comfortable in the role, but given his experience as a second-row and the impressive running game he possesses, the head coach could trust him to do a job.
Of course, that would mean moving him away from the loose-forward spot he has excelled in this season and with Joe Cator still three or four weeks away from a return to action, moving Lane out wide wouldn’t completely solve his selection dilemma.
The head coach isn’t blessed with a host of recognised loose-forward options and Lane’s defensive prowess through the middle would certainly be missed.
Ferreira will be cursing his luck as injury means he misses out on a potential debut for the Black and Whites, a chance he will feel he deserves after scoring six tries in three games for the academy this year.
However, while it seems highly unlikely at this stage, another youngster could be plucked out of Danny Wilson’s youth ranks and dropped into Hodgson’s Super League squad.
Both Davy Litten and Marcus Walker have been training with the senior group this term and the pair have experience at centre, too, but there will be questions marks about whether they are ready to make the step up yet.
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