Talented Superleague hooker re-signs with Hull FC

James Cunningham

He may not have the chance to play immediately, given the hooker depth at the club – but in a move that is a sign for the future, James Cunningham and Hull FC have agreed to a contract extension, that will see the talented youngster remain at the club until the end of the 2015 ESL season.

In future, the young international is tipped to become a first-team sensation at the club, with Cunningham pleased to have his long-term future sorted – vowing to work hard, in order to play first-grade regularly.

“It’s been a good year and if at the start of it somebody had said that I could make my first team debut, play for the England Academy in Australia and get a new contract with Hull, I’d have snapped their hand off.

“I wasn’t out of contract, so it came as a bit of a surprise to be approached about signing an extension, but Hull FC is the only club I want to be at and I’m really happy to get a longer deal sorted.

“My aim now is to try to force my way into the first team on a regular basis. It’s going to be tough because I’ve got some great players ahead of me, but I’ve got three years to do it and I’m just going to keep working hard and trying to improve.”

He added, “I may be competing against them for a place in the side, but I’m very lucky to have Danny Houghton and Aaron Heremaia here at the club. They are both top players but they are great lads too and very easy to learn from.

“Danny in particular has come through the club’s academy and is now an international player, so it’s great to work with somebody who has done what he has and he’s already helping me to become a better player.”

Hull FC Director of Rugby Shaun McRae, said that with the club setting their ambitions beyond next season as well as 2013, James Cunningham is the sort of player that the club sees as a part of their long-term vision.

“We’re delighted that James has extended his contract with the club. He’s a very talented player and we’ve got great hopes for him for the future.

“At the moment, he sits behind Danny Houghton who has a long-term deal at the club and Aaron Heremaia who has another couple of years with us, but you need succession plans and players who are able to come through and put the pressure on.

“He is currently playing predominantly at hooker, but I know Peter (Gentle) has some different views on him in terms of where he might be able to play. I think he sees him as a utility player as well, somebody who may be able to slot into the back row and possibly a loose forward role too.

“We’re delighted to be able to keep one of our fine up-and-coming players and it sends out a clear message that we will reward our local talent. I’m sure it won’t be too long before James is playing regular first team rugby league and we’re looking forward to him playing many games for Hull FC.”

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