Gareth Ellis

It is an important honour to be bestowed upon a player and many accept it graciously as they look forward to the added responsibility, and for Hull FC back-rower Gareth Ellis, who has been named as the captain of the club, it is an honour for him personally, to be in such a position.

Hull’s season opener against Leeds will be the first game that Ellis captains, with the back-rower labelling it as one of the proudest moments in his rugby league career.

“It is a fantastic honour and one I won’t take lightly,” Ellis said.

“I’ve seen already what this club means to the players, the staff and the fans and to be named captain is a special achievement.

“You only have to look at some of the names who have done it before to realise what sort of company you’re in – people like Johnny Whiteley, Clive Sullivan, Steve Norton, David Topliss – they’re all legends of the club and the game.

“Even more recently I recall the likes of Jason Smith and Craig Fitzgibbon as captain and these are some of the game’s best players, so to be on the list is very humbling.

“It will be a very special moment to lead out this team at Headingley but that is something I can reflect on in years gone by.

“The only thing we’re thinking about right now is the match, producing our best performance and claiming our first two points of the competition.”

The decision as to who would be made captain was not an easy one for Hull coach Peter Gentle, but with the club headed in a new direction, he felt the time was right to change captains.

“It has been a difficult decision,” said Hull coach Peter Gentle, who has appointed Hull-born hooker Danny Houghton, 24, as vice-captain.

“Andy has done a great job for us in a testing year at times, but we felt that we were going into a new era for the team and a fresh start for everyone, and Gareth seemed like the perfect candidate.

“We’ve been watching all the players closely over pre-season and his leadership qualities and experience stood out, having played in Super League, the NRL and internationally.

“He is a strong character, a natural leader and instils a culture around the club that we feel is very important and, having seen how he has fitted into the squad, we felt he was a natural captain.”

By ricky

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