Hull KR 2024 season preview

Hull KR 2024 season preview

2023 recap

The Robins were outstanding in 2023, exceeding all expectations to claim a top four finish and reach the Challenge Cup Final. They set the tone in round one with a 27-18 win over Wigan, and a couple of six-match winning streaks during the campaign meant they never looked in any real danger of missing out on the play-offs. When they did reach the business end of the year, a 20-6 win over Leigh put them within 80 minutes of Old Trafford, but a 42-12 defeat to Wigan ended their season on a slight downer.

2023 position: 4th

Key signings

AJ Wallace (Bradford Bulls), Peta Hiku (North Queensland Cowboys), Oliver Gildart (Leigh Leopards), Tyrone May (Catalans Dragons), Niall Evalds (Castleford Tigers), Jai Whitbread (Wakefield Trinity), Kelepi Tanginoa (Wakefield Trinity)

Key departures

Ethan Ryan (Salford Red Devils), Brad Schneider (Penrith Panthers), Sam Wood (Castleford Tigers), Jimmy Keinhorst (York Knights), Rowan Milnes (Castleford Tigers), Rhys Kennedy (London Broncos), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Retired), Kane Linnett (Retired)

Players to watch

Oliver Gildart has had a stop-start few years, and his near two-year spell in the NRL was pretty forgettable. If he can stay fit though and find the form that saw him win two Grand Finals and earn a call-up for Great Britain, then Rovers could have a gem on their hands. The fact he’s been handed the number four shirt bodes well for his chances of starting the year as a first-choice centre as well.

2023 was the year when Mikey Lewis went from having potential to being a star in Super League, and this year’s a big one for him to see if he can follow it up. The halfback deservedly earned a call-up to the England squad at the end of 2023, and I’m expecting another strong year from the local lad.

Young gun

AJ Wallace arrived from Bradford Bulls in the off-season, and the 20-year-old back rower will fancy his chances of getting into the starting side early on, especially following Kane Linnett’s retirement. Wallace already has international experience, too, having played for Jamaica at the 2021 World Cup, so the step up to Super League should hold no fears for him.

Our prediction – 4th

A bit like Leigh, it’s hard to know whether Hull KR are one-season wonders or here to stay, but following their performances last year, I’m backing them to be up there again. Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Kane Linnett are big losses, but they’ve recruited well in pre-season with the likes of Tyrone May and Peta Hiku adding plenty of top level experience. Anything less than a top six finish would be a major disappointment, but I can’t see them missing out.

Darren Notley

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