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SUPER 8s MATCH PREVIEW | Hull FC vs Catalans Dragons

Hull FC look to end their losing run when they host Catalans. Here’s everything you need to know…

SQUAD NEWS

Hull FC

Coach Lee Radford makes just one change to his squad from last week’s 38-12 defeat at St Helens – a ninth consecutive loss for the Black and Whites.

Sika Manu is the latest player to be forced onto the sidelines, and will miss the rest of the season with an MCL injury sustained at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Sika Manu Hull FC. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Mickey Paea returns to the squad having missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, although his fitness will continue to be monitored.

Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Taylor, Hadley, Connor, Abdull, Washbrook, Fash, Litten, Paea, Lane, Milousi, Matongo, Scott, Harris, Bienek.

Catalans Dragons

Steve McNamara makes two changes to his Catalans Dragons following a 34-22 loss at Wakefield, which was a sixth straight Super League defeat for the French side.

Benjamin Garcia is ruled out through injury, while Mickael Simon serves a one-match suspension for his part in clashes near the end of that game at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.

Benjamin Garcia, Catalans Dragons. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Michael McIlorum and Antoni Maria come into the 19-man squad in their places.

Catalans 19-man squad: Mead, Thornley, Wiliame, Moa, Bird, Baitieri, Margalet, McIlorum, Tierney, Jullien, Albert, Maria, Da Costa, Belmas, Perez, Gigot, Goudemand, Drinkwater, Edwards.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Hull and Catalans meet for the third time this season, with each side claiming a home win during the regular season.

The Black and Whites ran out comfortable winners in a 42-16 victory back in March, before the Dragons edged a much tighter affair in Perpignan the following month thanks to Tony Gigot’s last-minute drop goal.

Catalans have won just two of their last 15 trips to the KCOM Stadium in all competitions, and Hull have put more than 40 points past them in the three of the last four visits.

KEY BATTLE – Jake Connor vs Josh Drinkwater

Two of the best half-backs in Super League this season will go head-to-head and look to lead their respective sides out of their current losing runs.

Jake Connor, Hull FC. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jake Connor was in sensational form for Hull before injury looked to have ended his season, but he made an early comeback last week at St Helens and will want to show his best in the final couple of game to force his way back into Wayne Bennett’s plans ahead of the Test series against New Zealand.

Opposite him is a man who will be on his way at the end of the season, despite the remarkable impact that he has had on the club in just five few months. Josh Drinkwater has been the key to Catalans’ revival from basement dwellers to Challenge Cup winners, and he will want to end his time with the club on a high.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 22nd September
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Kick-off: 5:00pm
Referee: Marcus Griffiths

POLL

Which side will win this Super 8s contest?

I am a 19-year-old Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. I cover a lot of rugby league, following Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants and working for Halifax RLFC. If you want to see more of my ramblings on rugby and football then follow me on Twitter @stibbo99.

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