Hull’s new coaching team led by Director of Rugby Mike Umaga and his assistant Tony Penn will have something of a baptism of fire when they take on high flying Rams from Reading. Hull have had something of a lengthy break as their last two games of 2022 were cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
This has allowed the injured players time to recover and get back to fitness and Mike has had a full squad to select his side from. Keane Naylor has been sidelined for around six weeks and returns to the wing and Laurence Cowen-Leak will take his place in back row fully fit after playing through an injury last year.
The whole pack has a solid look about it, and the front row is back to full strength with Loma Kivalu Mike Jobling and Ben Boothman starting the game and Charlie Beech, having returned from his trip South Africa, returning as an impact player from the bench. Long-term second row partners Liam Regardsoe and Cam Curry team up with Will Hall and Lewis Wilson make the other two back row places.
Behind the scrum, Harvey Harding returns at scrum-half and Joe Carlisle continues at off-half while solid tackling centres Steve Johnson and Ali Heard will be looking to hold the Rams midfield at bay. Reece Dean and Mike Adlard will add their pace and guile to back division. Hull’s bench includes Jamie Major as front row cover along with Beech and Alex Todd covers back and second row options. Duell Trueman and Joe Barratt complete a good looking bench for Hull.
There is no doubt this will be a tough test for Hull, but earlier in the season Hull made a stirring late comeback against Rams and with the added experience of half a season in this league and home advantage may see a different performance from a Hull side looking to impress. If Hull can take all their first phase possession, it could make for a very interesting encounter.