Hull FC have confirmed a one-year contract extension for young star Denive Balmforth following an impressive showing on loan with Newcastle Thunder in the Championship this season.
The hooker – also able to play at loose forward – joined the Black and Whites from Warrington Wolves in the early stages of the 2022 season, with a two-year deal reported by FC at the time, which would have seen him through until the end of 2024.
It would appear that may not have been the case though, with the club today confirming a 12-month ‘extension’ to Balmforth’s stay at the MKM Stadium for 2024.
Having made four senior appearances for Hull last year under then-boss Brett Hodgson, including a try-scoring debut against Toulouse Olympique, and he now pens the new deal on the back of a year in the Championship at dual registration outfit Newcastle.
Hull FC tie down starlet with new deal following impressive Championship loan
Showing his versatility, the Leeds-born ace featured at half-back and in the back-row as well as in his preferred hooker role as he made 26 Thunder appearances and scored six tries in a struggling team.
Upon signing his new deal with FC, Balmforth said: “I’m just buzzing to have my future secured for 2024. I think it’s testament to how hard I’ve worked since I joined the club a couple of years ago.
“I’d say 2023 is the year I’ve turned from a boy into man, playing week in, week out up at Newcastle. It’s been a massive opportunity for me to challenge myself in the Championship and it’s just made me hungry to play in Super League for Hull.
“I’m making a lot of sacrifices and working incredibly hard behind-the-scenes at the minute to make sure I’m in the best possible shape for 2024, so I’m really excited for what the future holds.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to bear the fruits of my hard work in the near future.”
Hull boss Tony Smith discusses Denive Balmforth
The 20-year-old also has representative honours for Yorkshire Academy, putting in a Man of the Match showing against Lancashire last year.
Airlie Birds head coach Tony Smith opted to send him up to Newcastle this term rather than having him on the fringes of the first team squad at Hull, and doesn’t regret that decision.
The veteran boss added: “Denive certainly got what he needed out of 2023, and that is playing as much footy as possible.
“He increased his game time and he increased his fitness, which was really important. He’s come on a lot and has really benefited from that experience, which we’re looking forward to him bringing into pre-season.
“Denive still has some developing to do in the early stages of his career. However, what I would say is that he is very committed to his fitness, which is a credit to him, and it is up to him to take this opportunity now and grab it with both hands.”