Brian McDermott has explained his controversial decision to drop Featherstone’s leading points scorer Craig Hall, insisting he still has a future at Rovers.
The prolific centre was hauled off early during Featherstone’s win away at Newcastle the week after their 1895 Cup final defeat to Leigh.
Hall was then left out of the squad for Rovers’ two big televised Monday night games, a home win over Bradford and a damaging defeat at Leigh that saw the Centurions move top of the Championship for the first time this season.
And speaking to Rovers TV, McDermott has moved to explain his surprise decision to Featherstone’s fans, while reassuring the player he still has a big part to play in this season’s push for promotion to Super League.
“He hasn’t been playing how I think he can play or how I want him to play for the team,” said McDermott.
“This is not about Craig Hall. It is about what we need him to do for the team. He hasn’t been doing that so he’s been left out.”
Craig Hall response has been great, says McDermott
McDermott though says he has been impressed by the way Hall has reacted to the setback; which is part and parcel of playing elite level sport.
“Craig Hall’s response has been great,” he added.
“He has pitched it perfectly but I also know he is incredibly disappointed.
“I had a beer with a few players the night after the final. I ended up talking to Hall who’s a good guy; and his dad, who is also an ex-Hull KR player. I sat with them for half an hour or so; and then I think I dropped him the next game or the game after that. That’s just the harsh reality of business that you have to do.”
In Hall’s absence, hooker Connor Jones, back-row forward John Davies, Ben Hellewell and half-back Johnathon Ford have all had spells at left centre. But McDermott believes Hall will force his way back into contention for a big promotion fight with Leigh.
“I don’t think we will do anything special this year without having Hally somewhere near the team. He is such a good player for us.”