Hull FC switch Mike Burnett from second row to prop

Mike Burnett
Mike Burnett thought at one stage that his Hull FC career was over

Hull FC forward Mike Burnett has been handed a new role for next season by coach Peter Gentle just months after having no future with the club.

The 23-year-old was out of contract but Gentle brought Burnett into the fold and has now decided to switch him from second row to prop.

Gentle, who was appointed head coach in September, told BBC Radio Humberside: "Mike ticked all the boxes for us.

"We've talked about moving him into the front row and he's happy with that."

Burnett, who was sent out on loan to Harlequins last season, has over 50 Super League appearances to his name but Gentle's predecessor Richard Agar decided not to offer the Hull born forward a new contract and he looked destined to drop down into the Championship for 2012.

The situation changed when the departure of Sam Obst to Keighley freed up a space within the club's salary cap and Gentle acted quickly to restore Burnett to his squad.

"We've only got four front rowers in Mark O'Meley, Sam Moa, Eamon O'Carroll and Andy Lynch," said Gentle. "And, if we lose one of those early, it's a big step for a young kid to step up in that position.

"A wing or centre you could probably get away with it so we needed a back up there."

However, Burnett is some way behind his team-mates in terms of fitness, having undergone minor hip surgery.

"He'll be back training with us by the end of the week," added Gentle. "And he's looking forward to jumping into that role in the front row."

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