Burnett handed Hull lifeline

Hull forward Mike Burnett has been handed a second chance by the club, just months after he thought his time at the KC Stadium was over.

Burnett, 23, was out of contract at the end of the season and was deemed surplus to requirements by then head coach Richard Agar, but new chief Peter Gentle has brought him back in to the fold.

Gentle, appointed in September, wants to convert Burnett, who has made more than 50 appearances in Super League, from a second row to a prop, to provide cover in his squad.

He said: “Mike ticked all the boxes for us. We’ve talked about moving him into the front row and he’s happy with that.

“We’ve only got four front rowers in Mark O’Meley, Sam Moa, Eamon O’Carroll and Andy Lynch and if we lose one of those early, it’s a big step for a young kid to step up in that position.”

Burnett had looked likely to step down to the Championship in 2012, but the departure of Sam Obst to Keighley freed up some space on the salary cap at Hull.

He is currently sidelined with a hip injury, but is likely to resume training by the end of this week.

Burnett may well get a chance in the back-row anyway, following the news earlier in the week that the Airlie Birds have suspended new signing Martin Aspinwall.

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