Hull FC coach Tony Smith has confirmed that Jake Clifford will leave the club at the end of the season to join the North Queensland Cowboys in 2024.

The confirmation comes less than a week after Hull Live reported that the Cowboys tabled an offer and News Corp reported that the Wests Tigers were interested in his services.

Clifford joined Hull FC in the Super League this season, following four years at the North Queensland Cowboys and a further two at the Newcastle Knights- appearing in 67 NRL games.

The playmaker will join the Cowboys for 2024 and beyond, putting pressure on veteran Chad Townsend for the halfback jersey to play alongside Tom Dearden.

"Out of all the possibilities, I knew the Cowboys were the one he would like the most," Smith said about Clifford's NRL return via Hull Live.

"I would probably say too that this was the only club he would have chosen after one season.

"I think if it had been anybody else come knocking, then he probably would have seen out his two years here, but because it is home for both him and his wife, her family is from that region as well, and with a young child, that pull was far too great in the end.

NRL Rd 17 - Roosters v Cowboys
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Jake Clifford of the North Queensland Cowboys scores a try during the round 17 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Central Coast Stadium on July 14, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

"Jake's really enjoyed his time here, and he has settled really well. His wife has enjoyed it, but getting back to North Queensland was just a little bit too much. Did we know that could happen? Absolutely.

"We made the arrangement for him to come with all eyes wide open. I knew that he had a desire to go back to the NRL, and part of my remit was to help him do that.

"I was optimistic that he would play well, and if he played well, that would draw attention. We've benefited from that. It was well worth it. He's not done yet. He's a good pro and a good young man.

"He's enjoyable to coach, and he's fully committed to his teammates and club, and he'll put in his best efforts for the remainder of the season. It's been a pleasure."