Brett Hodgson believes Andre Savelio’s hard work over the off-season is paying dividends following his impressive start to the campaign.

Hodgson was already well-acquainted with Savelio by the start of pre-season having bumped into him at the club’s training ground regularly in the weeks prior.

The back-rower's knee issues have been well-documented since joining the Black and Whites in 2019 and, as Savelio revealed to Hull Live in December, there were points at the end of last year when he was unable to train due to the soreness he was experiencing after a game.

As such, rather than resting up in preparation for training to resume in January, Savelio chose to spend the festive period with the club’s conditioning and medical staff strengthening the joint to give himself a chance of hitting the ground running under the new head coach and that is exactly what he has done.

“He’s been very good,” Hodgson said of the 26-year-old. “I think he’s valuing the little things at the moment which we’ve asked in those effort areas, his kick chase has been good, when he’s needed defensively to put a bit of pressure on the halves, he’s doing that role for us as a team and he’s buying into the system.

“I’m really happy with Dre’s performance in the first two weeks and it’s up to him to take another step forward.

“I was aware of the knee issues he’s had when he came to the club and he’s got to take credit for the fact that he was in for pretty much the entire off-season doing his rehab and doing his extras to put himself in a good position.

“It’s the work that you’re willing to do behind the scenes that no one sees that he’s benefiting from that at this stage.”

His dedication has ensured he has been able to pick up where he left off from last season with his performances in a Hull shirt.

Savelio was one of FC’s top performers towards the end of last season and he has got through plenty of work this year as Hodgson’s side have found traction early.

Of course, such consistent performances are unlikely to go unnoticed and while he was born in New Zealand, Savelio could eventually work his way onto Shaun Wane’s England radar.

Reports in 2017 claimed Samoa and England were battling over Savelio’s allegiance after his switch to Brisbane Broncos.

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As such, with Wane likely to be watching Hull and the likes of Josh Griffin, Jake Connor and Scott Taylor closely over the coming months, Savelio might just catch his eye should he continue to excel in a Hull shirt.

“Potentially, I think that’s something you’d have to ask Shaun specifically,” Hodgson added when asked whether Savelio could be another international candidate in the Hull squad.

“We’re concerned with how our boys perform for us as a group and how we continue to do improve as individuals and as a squad within our own environment.

“Anything that comes beyond that is the reward that we put in as a club and Dre is leading in that area.”