Tony Smith shares update on Denive Balmforth as Hull FC look for extra friendly game

Denive Bamforth is aiming to break through at Hull FC this year.
-Credit: (Image: SW Pix)

Tony Smith has provided an update on Hull FC hooker Denive Balmforth. The 20-year-old picked up a shoulder injury in the club's first pre-season game at Bradford Bulls, but he has since returned to full training.

After missing the Doncaster game, Balmforth, who has his eyes set on the long-term hooking spot at the Black and Whites, is now back in full contact sessions, with the goal of getting him back on the field as soon as possible. In fact, the club are working on organising a reserve match for Balmforth to get some game time, alongside the likes of Harvey Barron, Nick Staveley, Damel Diakhate, and co.

Smith has confirmed to Hull Live that a fixture is close to being confirmed, with the young dummy-half set to feature alongside several of the club's newest first-teamers, including Lennon Bursell, who scored in his first senior appearance at Odsal earlier this month.

"Denive has made some progress," Smith said. "He's back into full contact in training. He wasn't in full contact after the Bradford game. He was struggling with it, and we had to be smart about it, but it's settled down now.

"We're hoping to get a friendly organised for our reserves very soon. If and when that happens, then Denive will be putting his hand up to play in that one.

"We're in the midst of arranging that friendly so our young guys can ply their trade as well. A lot of them got a run against Bradford, some did against Doncaster, and some didn't, but we need to get the rest of them who haven't been playing since Bradford into some form and match fitness."

Hull's reserve season begins with a trip to Bradford Bulls on Saturday 9 March. A total of 12 games have been scheduled, with Smith delighted with the conduct of his young players in pre-season training.

"They're training at a high intensity," Smith added. "We've done a lot of opposed training this year; some of that has been close to full contact, and some of it has been reduced contact. They've been great. The players who have been on the fringe, if you like, or the ones who are gaining experience by training with the first team, have really stepped up.

"They've got a great attitude. They're young and enthusiastic, and they turn up to training to train hard and to improve. Just the freshness of so many young faces in and amongst it creates competition, but it makes for a good attitude as well. They're certainly hungry when it comes to that."