PA Sport

Hull release Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu for international duty

Hull release Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu for international duty
By PA Sport

01/05/2016 at 20:16Updated 01/05/2016 at 20:23

Hull will be without forwards Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu for next Sunday's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth-round tie at St Helens after they were released for international duty.

The second-row pair, who have both represented New Zealand in the past, will be on opposite sides when they play in the Pacific Test at Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

Pritchard will captain Samoa while Manu will lead a Tonga team that includes former Catalans Dragons winger Michael Oldfield.

Hull coach Lee Radford said: "It's a fantastic honour for both of them to captain their countries and we would like to wish them well for the match.

"It's important for the growth of the international game that they're both turning out for Samoa and Tonga and great recognition for the club that we have two international captains in our ranks.

"We're obviously going to miss them next week but with Gareth (Ellis) and Mark (Minichiello) both returning, we have some first-class replacements to come back into the side in their absence in what is a huge game for the club."

Pritchard and Manu, who have played in 11 of Hull's 13 matches so far in their first season in Super League, flew out after helping them to a 28-26 win over Catalans Dragons on Friday night which lifted them into third place.

Pritchard on Sunday expressed his gratitude to his club with a message on Instagram on his arrival in Sydney.

" How grateful we are to @hullfcofficial in releasing us to captain our countries," he said. "We both excited and privileged to be in this position and couldn't thank you guys enough. The sacrifice the club and fans have made we are humbled by. We have faith the squad they can get the job done."

Hull winger Mahe Fonua has not been selected for Tonga while centre Carlos Tuimavave misses out for Samoa due to injury.

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