Simon Grix got his first opportunity as a head coach in the professional game after a successful interim spell. Whether that will prove to be the case at Hull FC as well remains to be seen, but the former Ireland international is happy to be at the helm for however long is needed.

Four-time Super League Grand Final-winning coach Brian McDermott has been mentioned as one of Tony Smith’s possible successors. Grix’s old Warrington Wolves team-mate Lee Briers, Castleford Tigers assistant Danny McGuire, one-time State of Origin player Dean Young and former London Broncos hooker Chad Randall – the latter two now NRL assistant coaches – are all rumoured to be in the frame as well.

As far as the 38-year-old is concerned though, he and his interim assistant Francis Cummins will keep holding the fort, continuing with this Friday’s Betfred Super League game away at his former club Warrington in a match exclusively live on Sky Sports.

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“Anything could change – who knows?” Grix told Sky Sports. “It’s not my decision, I’m happy to come and do my job, and that’s what I came here for.

“This is a good experience for me as well, so I’ll keep turning up and if I get the tap on the shoulder someone else is coming in that’s fine.

“If not, best foot forward and we’ll just keep trying our best to improve.”

Grix joined the Black and Whites as assistant to Smith in late 2023, having cut his teeth as a coach during a five-year spell in charge of hometown club Halifax Panthers which culminated in 1895 Cup glory at Wembley last year. Three weeks ago, however, he found himself thrust into temporary charge in the wake of his former Warrington boss’ departure.

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Highlights of Hull FC’s 18-12 defeat at home to Leeds Rhinos in Round 9 of the Betfred Super League season.

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A 58-0 loss away to St Helens, the second game in a row Hull FC had shipped a half-century of points and the fourth overall in 2024, was about as tough an initiation into life at the top in Super League as it got for the former back row as well.

Although beaten 18-12 by Leeds Rhinos at the MKM Stadium last Sunday as well, Grix took encouragement from the overall performance from the hosts and in particular those of the younger players who have been thrust to the fore due to injuries and suspensions which have affected the squad in the opening months of the season.

Jack Charles, the 18-year-old scrum-half, was playing in only his sixth game for Hull FC, while 18-year-old utility player Logan Moy was featuring in his third and 19-year-old winger Lewis Martin, who grabbed two tries, his 10th.

Grix is delighted with the displays from the academy graduates too, although will have long-term injury absentee Jake Trueman and recently-signed Tom Briscoe back to boost the squad for the trip to Warrington, and believes these experiences will stand them in good stead for the future even though they have come in adverse circumstances.

Picture by Will Palmer/ - 12/08/2023 - Rugby League - AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final - Batley Bulldogs v Halifax Panthers - Wembley Stadium, London, England - Halifax Panthers Head Coach Simon Grix lifts the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup trophy after victory over Batley Bulldogs in the final.
Image:Simon Grix oversaw Wembley glory at Halifax in 2023

“They’re learning a lot,” Grix said. “Our young lads have been doing really well and they’re doing it tough.

“It’s not the best time to be playing so many young kids, but they definitely are learning from this as well and hurting from it because they’re all local young lads.

“In a year or two years from now when they’ve come on physically, we’ll see what they’re about, but it’s definitely valuable experience for them now.”

Hull FC’s supporters showed their appreciation of their team’s gutsy display against Leeds with a standing ovation following the full-time hooter, but Grix’s team now face four straight away matches due to pitch repair work at the MKM Stadium which they share with football club Hull City.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ - 28/04/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League: Round 9 - Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos - MKM Stadium, Hull, England - Lewis Martin of Hull FC scores a try.
Image:Lewis Martin grabbed two tries for Hull FC in the defeat to Leeds

After Friday’s return to the club Grix made 179 appearances for – including two Grand Final defeats – in nine seasons, the Black and Whites head to London Broncos, the only team Hull FC have beaten so far in 2024, followed by the team just above them in Castleford Tigers, then rounding off their time on the road with a trip to play-off hopefuls Huddersfield Giants.

Grix admits it is not ideal to have to spend nearly a month away from the comforts of home and without the backing of their own fans but understands the situation and is taking it in his stride, just like he has with everything else which has come his way since being handed the reins.

“We had an ovation from the fans there for the effort, it’s been better than it has been, so going away from that is probably not ideal at the moment,” Grix said. “We’ll get on with it, but onto the next one as always.

“I thought we showed a step forward in our effort against St Helens despite the result and Leeds was about being better for longer, and I thought we were.

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Highlights of Salford Red Devils’ 17-12 win over Warrington Wolves in in Round 9 of the Betfred Super League season.

“Our own errors didn’t help us at times, but we didn’t die wondering on the effort front.”

Warrington Wolves vs Hull FC is exclusively live on Sky Sports Action from 7.30pm on Friday, May 3 (8pm kick-off). Watch every Super League match in 2024 live on Sky Sports and stream with NOW.

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