Last Updated: 18/10/19 8:42pm
Former Great Britain forward Gareth Ellis is to play on into his 40th year after signing a new contract with Hull FC for 2020.
Hull have also continued their recruitment with the addition of former Hull KR utility player Joe Cator, 21, from Leigh on a two-year deal.
Ellis, who will be 39 next May, hung up his boots at the end of 2017 to become Hull’s football manager but came out of retirement a fortnight into the 2019 season and helped Lee Radford’s team halt a run of 13 consecutive defeats.
He will be, by some distance, the oldest player in Super League next season and could even break the record of former Bradford and Catalans Dragons second-rower Steve Menzies, who was three months short of his 40th birthday when he played his last match for the French club in 2013.
Ellis said: “After my initial comeback early in 2019, I didn’t expect to be in and around the squad for the rest of the season. I thought it would just be a bit of a final swansong for me.
“But I had that taste and it made me realise that I was still enjoying playing and that turned into me playing 20 games which is pretty much a full season for me.
“It was probably about 10 or 15 games into the season when people began asking me the question as to whether I thought I could go around again in 2020. And with how I was feeling, I was pretty sure I was able to do so.”
Ellis, who previously played for Wakefield, Leeds and Wests Tigers, has made more than 350 appearances in Super League and the NRL, winning two Grand Final rings in the process as well as two Challenge Cups with Hull.
Hull coach Radford said: “The role he is going to play for us is going to be different to the one he played a couple of years ago, but as he adapts and evolves he will be just as important.
“He brings a wealth of experience and leadership qualities that he will undoubtedly pass on to the rest of the squad and carries himself with the utmost professionalism, as we saw on and off the field last season.”
Meanwhile, Hull-born Cator becomes Radford’s eighth new signing for 2020 and adds utility value to his squad with an ability to play back-row, hooker and centre.
Radford said: “Joe plays with a really impressive attitude and I think that can be really infectious.
“His utility value is huge, being able to play at loose-froward or hooker. Our squad is smaller in size for 2020 but his utility makes up for that.”
Source : Sky Sports