Hull KR hooker Keal Carlile is determined to prove that he deserves to be the Robins’ starting dummy half in 2015.
The 24-year-old faces competition for his spot from French prospect John Boudebza, as well as youngster Connor Robinson.
The Robins called off their search for an NRL hooker last week, giving Carlile the chance to prove his worth. The club also confirmed that he would be wearing the number nine jersey vacated by Josh Hodgson, now at Canberra Raiders.
“Getting the number nine shirt means a lot but obviously I still have to work hard in training because, at the end of the day, it is only a number,” Carlile told his club’s official website.
“Growing up as a kid it was always my ambition to get the number nine on my back but I still have a lot of work to do to cement my place.
“I’ve been here for a while now, I’m one of the longest-serving players at the club, and although my game time has been limited, I’ve been in the first team environment for a few years now.
“I know I’ve got to prove I can take on a bigger role and become a leader within the team but I’m comfortable with that. I’ve been given a big opportunity and it’s now about grasping my chance with both hands.”
Carlile knows that he faces competition from hungry players with points to prove, and will have to work hard to keep his place in the team.
“I’ve not had a holiday, I’ve come back in decent shape and have been training well but John has come in and he looks really sharp too,” he added.
“Young Connor will also be pushing for a place so even though we didn’t sign anyone else, there are hookers in the squad that can come in and do a job.
“It’s a strong squad for next year and the club have brought some quality players in.
“The halves we have brought in are top quality. It’s exciting for the club and I’m looking forward to playing with them.
“Obviously we’ll need to gel but we’ll have plenty of time for that on the training paddock and in the pre-season friendlies.”