Why Gareth Ellis has made a quick return to Hull FC with input from Richie Myler

Ben Olawumi
Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis arrives for a Hull FC game in 2023

Club legend Gareth Ellis has made a quick return to Hull just a few months after leaving and pursuing a role with ‘Rugby League Cares’. He’s explained why he’s decided to rejoin FC, with new director of rugby Richie Myler having a part to play.

Two-time Super League Grand Final winner Ellis – who captained the Airlie Birds to back-to-back Challenge Cup successes in 2016 & 2017 – only departed the MKM Stadium at the end of the 2023 season.

Having been one of then-head coach Tony Smith’s assistants, the 42-year-old then joined RL Cares, taking up a role as the charity’s ‘Wellbeing Programme Manager’ last November.

But a few months on, with FC in disarray following the sacking of Smith after a woeful start to 2024, the legendary forward is back, penning a three-year contract to link up with the club’s performance department.

Why Gareth Ellis has made a quick return to Hull FC with input from Richie Myler

Ellis, who will turn 43 next month, made 127 appearances for FC in his playing days across two stints separated by an 18-month retirement from the sport.

The pull of the Black & Whites was enough to pull him back in when he decided to return to action in 2019, and it has been again.

Explaining his decision in Hull’s press release confirming his return, the ex-England & Great Britain international said: “The last six months have allowed me to have some time away from the game, and now, I come back with a completely fresh mind.

“In my time working with Rugby League Cares, travelling across the country to visit other clubs, it has really filled me with that hunger to want to get back into elite professional sport at some point, but I probably didn’t appreciate that an opportunity like this would come along so quickly.

“Hull FC still holds a very special place in my heart. I still love the club. Even over the last couple of months, I’ve been watching games and shouting at the TV, which shows there’s still a great element of care there.

“To get the opportunity to return in a role that I feel will play to my strengths as a leader was really one that I couldn’t turn down.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back and working with the players. There’s a great opportunity to nurture some outstanding young talent at Hull – some of those we’ve seen make their debuts in recent weeks.”

New Hull FC director of rugby Richie Myler wants Ellis to ‘help them reconnect with their identity’

Ellis’ former England team-mate Myler is the man who has put the wheels in motion for his return, this the new director of rugby’s first major appointment since his arrival at the club earlier this month.

Detailing his thoughts around Ellis’ position, Myler – who only hung up his own boots as he took on the role at the MKM Stadium – added: “As many of our loyal fans feel, Gaz is hurting about the current situation the club finds itself in.

“He cares deeply about what Hull FC stands for, and knows more than most what it means to pull on the black and white jersey.

“Having spoken to the playing group myself, it is clear that the respect that Gaz commands is of the highest regards, and it was immediately clear to me the value of him having a role within our group.

“We’re delighted to have him back on board and I’m excited to have him help us reconnect with our identity as a club going forward.”