Where are they now? The Hull FC team from Tom Briscoe’s first debut

Ben Olawumi
Danny Houghton, Tom Briscoe, Motu Tony

Hull FC's Danny Houghton (left), Tom Briscoe (middle) & Motu Tony (right) in 2008

Tom Briscoe made his return to Hull FC last week in a swap deal which saw Darnell McIntosh go the other way to Leigh.

More than 16 years have passed since Briscoe’s senior Super League debut, which came for the Black & Whites in February 2008. He was unavailable for their game against another of his former clubs, Leeds Rhinos, last week – but he could feature in Friday night’s game against Warrington.

And when pictures emerged of Briscoe in a Black & Whites kit all those years ago, it got us thinking – where are his team-mates from the day he made his debut now?

For reference, his first-ever senior appearance – as an 18-year-old – came away against the same club, Warrington Wolves in Round 1 of the 2008 Super League.

Coming on from the bench as an interchange in front of a crowd of 11,026 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, a fresh-faced Briscoe would end up on the losing side, beaten 32-20.

Chris Bridge was at the double with a brace for the hosts, while Chris Hicks, Matt King, Ben Westwood & Vinnie Anderson all also got their names on the scoresheet. Lee Briers kicked four goals for the Wolves.

Where are they now? The Hull FC team from Tom Briscoe’s debut in 2008

Motu Tony

Motu Tony
Motu Tony in action for Hull FC in 2008

After leaving Hull at the end of the 2009 season, Kiwi international Tony, who will turn 43 next month, moved on to Whitehaven for a brief spell before rounding his career off at Wakefield Trinity. He would return to FC and spend circa four years as their General Manager, leaving to return home in 2017. He has been in a similar role with the New Zealand national team ever since.

Todd Byrne

Byrne, a former NRL Grand Final winner, joined Hull ahead of the 2008 season on a two-year deal, but saw his contract cancelled in April 2009 having suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second game of that year. Now 45, the Australian would be forced to retire, and now lives in Sydney where – alongside a port job – he dabbles in crypto currency trading and writing.

Craig Hall

36-year-old Hall – who grabbed two tries on the night for FC – is still playing to this day in the Championship with Doncaster, with 365 career appearances to his name at the time of writing. He left the Airlie Birds at the end of 2010 for cross-city rivals Hull KR and has since featured for Wakefield, Toronto Wolfpack, Leigh (then-Centurions) & Featherstone Rovers, too.

Shaun Berrigan

Shaun Berrigan
Shaun Berrigan in action for Hull FC in 2008

Brisbane native Berrigan, a 13-time Australia international – only ever played for Hull in the British game, departing at the beginning of 2011 following the death of his father. He rounded his career off back Down Under with the New Zealand Warriors & Canberra Raiders, and is now working in the mining industry Down Under.

Danny Williams

Two-time England international Williams, who arrived at an injury-hit FC ahead of the 2008 season on loan from Leeds, only ever played three games for them and this was one of them. With a stint in rugby union shortly afterwards, the 37-year-old would eventually return to rugby league, ending his career off at Bradford Bulls in 2016. If you know what he’s up to now, let us know!

Danny Washbrook

Local Washbrook made a total of 299 appearances for the Airlie Birds across two stints, lifting the Challenge Cup in both 2016 & 2017. Wakefield & York are the only other clubs he ever made a permanent move to, joining the latter at the back end of his career and hanging up his boots at the end of 2021. The 38-year-old is now the Director of an agency for construction workers in Hull.

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee runs with the ball for Hull FC in 2008

Half-back partner Lee, another Hull native, would leave FC at the end of 2009 having made 78 appearances. He featured for a glut of clubs, including rivals KR and rugby union outfit Hull RUFC, before ending his playing career in 2020. Now 36, Lee is the Director of a Hessle-based company in the blinds business.

Peter Cusack

Australian Cusack – who had played over 150 games in the NRL prior to joining the Black & Whites – would spend three seasons with Hull, retiring at the end of the 2010 season. We know he is now 47 and living back Down Under, but if you know what Cusack is up to nowadays, get in touch!

Danny Houghton

Whenever the first time Briscoe stepped back through the doors at the FC training ground was, stalwart Houghton will have been there to welcome him back. The 35-year-old has never left his boyhood club, and is now fast approaching the milestone of 450 appearances for the club. Only four men have ever played more games for FC, and he is likely to overtake three of those this year!

Garreth Carvell

Garreth Carvell
Hull FC’s Garreth Carvell in action in 2008

Carvell, who featured for England, Great Britain and Wales on the international front, enjoyed two separate stints at FC during an 18-year career which ended in 2015. Since hanging up his boots, the 44-year-old has had a number of vocations in and out of the game. He is the lead representative of the Rugby League Players’ Association, and also works as a personal trainer.

Ewan Dowes

Cumbrian Dowes was the first known player to sign a dual-code contract in the game, featuring for both Leeds Tykes in union and Rhinos in league before eventually opting to stick in the 13-a-side code. 240 of his 307 career appearances came for Hull, retiring in 2014. Now 43, the ex-forward is a Director of his own wealth management company in Leeds.

Willie Manu

44-year-old Manu, a former Tonga international, made 165 appearances for FC over six seasons. With stints at Castleford Tigers and St Helens, he eventually retired in 2015 having returned to the NRL that same year. The New South Wales native has since set up a concreting & construction company Down Under alongside his brothers.

Danny Tickle

Danny Tickle
Hull FC’s Danny Tickle powers through a tackle during a game in 2008

Tickle, now 41, spent seven seasons at Hull and is still second on the list of the club’s goal & points scorers in the Super League era. A true rugby league stalwart, he hung up his boots in 2019 after a year at Workington Town which saw him surpass 500 career appearances and 2,500 points in club games. The ex-forward is now enjoying retirement in the North West.

Paul King (Interchange)

‘Kingy’ featured over 250 times for his boyhood club, debuting in 1998 and leaving 11 years later in 2009. Ending his career with short stints at Wakefield, Whitehaven & York, the England and Great Britain international still lives in the Hull area now and is often invited to FC games as a guest of the club. He will turn 45 in June.

Graeme Horne (Interchange)

Horne, FC’s other try-scorer on the night at Warrington, is another local lad. He began his career with FC, featuring over 100 times, and would later don a shirt across the city for KR. The two-time England international, now 39, called time on his playing days in 2020 having been coached by brother Richard at Doncaster.

Matty Dale (Interchange)

Dale played just nine games in total having come through the ranks with hometown team Hull, loaned out to Whitehaven, Wakefield & Featherstone before joining the latter permanently and playing over 180 games for them in total. The 37-year-old hung up his boots after a short stint at York in 2016. If anyone knows what his vocation is now, then let us know!

Tom Briscoe (Interchange)

Tom Briscoe
A fresh-faced Tom Briscoe in action for Hull FC during his debut season in 2008

Onto Briscoe himself. He scored 90 tries in 147 Hull appearances before departing for Leeds at the end of the 2013 season, and won two Super League titles with the Rhinos as well as a Challenge Cup. After 18 months with Leigh, he returns to the MKM Stadium at 34 as an 18-time England international with more than 400 career appearances on his CV in total.

Head coach: Peter Sharp

Australian Sharp had been in charge of FC from April 2006, making the move from Down Under where he had headed up Manly Sea Eagles. He would depart Hull midway through the 2008 campaign after a run of just four wins in their opening 14 games that year. The 69-year-old’s next – and only other – head coach gig came at Cronulla Sharks in 2014.

Warrington Wolves’ line-up from Tom Briscoe’s Hull FC debut

Paul Cullen
Paul Cullen, Warrington Wolves head coach between August 2002 and May 2008

For reference, here’s the Warrington team from that game in 2008…

Starting 13: Chris Bridge, Chris Hicks, Martin Gleeson, Matt King, Kevin Penny, Lee Briers, Michael Monaghan, Adrian Morley, Jon Clarke, Paul Rauhihi, Louis Anderson, Ben Westwood, Vinnie Anderson

Interchanges: Mark Gleeson, Robert Parker, Paul Johnson, Steve Pickersgill

Head coach: Paul Cullen