Super League Preview: Hull Kingston Rovers

Transfers

In: Albert Vete (Melbourne), Ryan Hall (Sydney), Korbin Sims (St George-Illawarra), Brad Takairangi (Parramatta), Luis Johnson (Warrington), Muizz Mustapha (Leeds)

Out: Jamie Ellis, Matty Gee, Ryan Brierley, Nathaniel Peteru (all Leigh), Robbie Mulhern (Warrington), Mitch Garbutt (Toulouse), Dan Murray (Halifax), Will Oakes (Dewsbury), Elliot Wallis (Bradford), Kyle Trout (Limoux), Weller Hauraki (retired).

Rovers look to avoid 2020 repeat

Hull KR captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall has cited the influence of Anthony Minichiello’s captaincy at the Sydney Roosters as inspiration for his own approach to leading the team.

Kenny-Dowall and Elliott Minchella were named skipper and vice-captain by boss Tony Smith for the 2021 Super League season.

The 33-year old won the NRL title in 2013 with the Roosters under Minichiello’s leadership, and will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2020 season where KR finished bottom of the table.

“I looked up to Anthony,” Kenny-Dowall told BBC Radio Humberside.

“I watched and admired him, modelled the way he prepared and was the captain in winning a premiership.

“Not only on the field with his leadership and communication, but also the way he applied himself off it day in day out.”

It’s the influence of the former Australia and New South Wales full-back’s approach that is the mould for Kenny-Dowall, rather than trying to replicate his methods.

“Anthony was confident in the person he was, his leadership role, he didn’t try too much,” he added.

“He was happy to put his style on the team and lead the team in the way that was best for him.

“I’ll try to be myself as much as I can, Tony sees me in this role for a reason.”

Former New Zealand international Kenny-Dowall succeeds Mose Masoe and Weller Hauraki in the role.

Masoe, a former Roosters team-mate, was forced to retire after a life-changing spinal injury in pre-season last year, whilst Hauraki ended his career at the end of the 2020 campaign.

The Robins sank to the bottom spot last year, but provided a style of play that won them many admirers – and you can expect them to rise again this year.

Kiwi international Brad Takairangi has arrived from Parramatta, prop Albert Vete brings some of that Melbourne culture with him, Korbin Simms has plenty of pedigree and experience and, of course, Ryan Hall flies back into Super League after his two years at Sydney Roosters.

Prediction

The Robins avoided relegation in the last campaign thanks to the capitulation of Toronto Wolfpack.

They will be hoping to make the most of their second bite at the cherry, and have recruited well in their attempts to do so.

Captain Kenny-Dowell will be hoping new man Ryan Hall can dust off his try scoring boots, though it may not be enough for the Robins to upset the playoff chasers.

They have too much quality to be worrying about relegation, but we can't see them making the six.

VAVEL Predicts - 10th.

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