Denive Balmforth contract loophole as hooker's Hull FC future decided

Denive Balmforth will remain a Hull FC player next season. The 19-year-old signed an initial two-year deal with the Black and Whites last March, arriving from Warrington Wolves.

However, it’s Hull Live’s understanding that there was an option in Balmforth’s contract for a third year. That option has been taken with the teenager set to be a part of the Hull squad for the 2024 season.

The Leeds-born hooker has spent the entire 2023 campaign on dual-reg at Newcastle Thunder in the Championship. He has played 19 times for Chris Thorman’s outfit, scoring four tries.

Balmforth has featured at dummy-half, but also added strings to his bow in the half-back, back-row and loose-forward positions, something he also did during his Academy days at the Black and Whites last year.

Read more: Glimpses of Hull FC’s future shown as players show progress under Tony Smith

Expected to finish the year with Newcastle, the player will return to Hull in pre-season, linking up with Tony Smith’s side once again. The teenager played four times for Hull in 2022, making a try-scoring debut against Toulouse last April.

Elsewhere in the hooking department, Hull are still to confirm the future of Danny Houghton, who remains out of contract at the end of the year, while Joe Lovodua’s deal also runs out.

Smith is known to be giving the likes of Houghton time before coming to a decision, with the veteran enjoying a strong run of form this year. Brad Dwyer will leave the club after one season and is expected to join Warrington Wolves.