Hull praised for standing in to face Leeds

James Gordon

Carlos Tuimavave (3) of Hull FC celebrates his second try

Hull have been praised for their decision to stand-in for Castleford and take on Leeds in Super League tonight (Thursday).

With the Tigers struggling with a coronavirus outbreak and injuries, which left them to just 14 available players, Hull stepped up to help fulfil the fixture.

Following the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from this season’s competition, one team is free every round, and so Hull showed their commitment to the remainder of Super League by offering to stand in at barely 24 hours notice.

It’s not the first time the spare team has been used, with Castleford themselves drafted in to fulfil fixtures in earlier rounds, including against St Helens after the first coronavirus outbreak hit Super League, ironically at Hull.

The gesture by Hull comes at even shorter notice, and is remarkable considering they themselves have 12 players out.

A club statement said: “…after extensive consultation with the club’s coaching staff and senior players group, they have come to a unanimous decision to fulfil the fixture for the good of the sport.

“Despite the short notice, the players and staff have recognised and understand first-hand the challenges that Covid-19 presents and they believe this is a time for the sport to remain unified.”

Though not everyone has seen the positives from Hull’s gesture, with some criticising the impact on player welfare, and also questioning the purpose of the points percentage system, brought in on the basis that not all fixtures would be completed.

And of course, it wouldn’t be rugby league without the absurd conspiracy theories and criticism of the RFL, as nicely put by our friends at FeeFiFoFum.

Hull will take on Leeds live on Sky Sports at Headingley at 7.45pm.