Davy Litten praised for 'super' Hull FC display as Tony Smith talks through his options

Tony Smith was highly complimentary of Davy Litten's performance for Hull FC reserves over the weekend. The 19-year-old fullback scored a hat-trick of tries in the win over London Broncos and also contributed to many more scores with his running and passing games both coming to the fore.

Watching the game this week, Smith was impressed with what he saw, but it came as no surprise. Naming Litten in his 21-man squads for the first three Super League rounds, the Hull head coach is well aware of the teenagers' capabilities.

Yet in covering plenty of ground and exhibiting plenty of energy and skill with his influential display in the capital, Litten did his chances of first-team selection no harm as Smith prepares to make his first spine change of the season.

Read more: Hull FC youngster ruled out of Salford clash as Tony Smith provides further injury update

Whilst Joe Lovodua is probably the favourite as a straight swap for the injured Ben McNamara with Tex Hoy kept at full-back, Litten is also on the radar. Smith even opted to single him out when asked the question about his options for this weekend's game against Salford Red Devils.

"I am going to make special mention of Davy Litten having watched the reserves," Smith told Hull Live. "Wow - he was super. He really was. He was terrific.

"Even before he played reserves I wouldn't have had any hesitation in picking him in the first team and I won't in the future, but he certainly took it to another level. I thought his running game and his passing game were very good.

"He's maturing. He can run and run all day and he does. What he wasn't running on he was passing over. His skill level was really good.

"He probably overplayed a couple of times and there were one or two defensive errors as well but he knows that - he pointed those out to me first, the areas he needs to improve on. He's terrific like that. His enthusiasm is infectious as well. He's such a great pleasure to work with."

Another option for Smith is Jamie Shaul, who was back in the squad after overcoming a calf injury. Travelling to Catalans with the team, Shaul is in contention to be named again this week after impressing Smith with his professionalism and conduct.

"Jamie came to Catalans on the weekend to allow Davy to play for reserves, once again putting the team and the club first," Smith added. "At a pinch, he could have played - if there were issues on the flight, he would have filled in as 18th man, so the chances of Jamie actually playing were very, very slim.

"I could have taken Davy to play that role for us and then not play the next day in London. Thankfully, we didn't have to do that. We were grateful for Jamie to be so professional about his role and allow Davy to go to London and gain some well-earned experience and fitness."

Smith also has Lovodua to call on for a half-back role this week whilst admitting Danny Houghton will be in the mix to play after sitting out the Catalans defeat.

"Joe will be involved and Danny will be available for us - that's for certain," Smith added. "He was terrific for all of us last weekend helping everyone he could as 18th man. What a great club man and example for the young guys he was.

"There is a manner in which we have to handle disappointment and I'm sure Danny was disappointed in not playing, particularly with the way we played last week. He did everything he could to try and help us which showed the type of player and club man he is."

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