Former Hull KR favourite returns to Craven Park in new coaching role: ‘I really wanted this to be the next stage of my career’

Ben Olawumi
Rhys Lovegrove

Rhys Lovegrove during his time as Keighley Cougars head coach - Alamy

Hull KR have confirmed the return of former fan favourite Rhys Lovegrove, who returns to the club for 2024 as their new Academy Head Coach.

Sydney-born ace Lovegrove spent eight seasons at Craven Park between 2007 and 2014, making 160 appearances and crossing for 16 tries during that time, loved by the East Hull faithful for his versatility in playing anywhere in the pack.

The ex-forward departed KR for London Broncos in his playing days, the club who he has just helped back to Super League as assistant coach to Mike Eccles.

Former Hull KR favourite Jason Lovegrove returns to Craven Park

Lovegrove is now 36, and started 2023 as Keighley Cougars’ head coach in the Championship having led them to an ‘invicible’ promotion last year as champions of League 1.

Ending his playing days with a brief stint at Bradford Bulls, he also had a spell on the coaching staff at Odsal and across Yorkshire with Doncaster, who themselves have just gained promotion to the Championship.

Now making the move back to the Robins and taking charge of their youth setup, he said: “I really wanted this to be the next stage of my career.

“I wanted to work with youth more, and really cement that pathway at Hull KR. The way I coach and like to deliver, it certainly looks towards that development model.

“I’m really excited to progress that, and hopefully play a part in the future success at the club.”

Returning Lovegrove lauded by former KR teammate

Lovegrove reunites with ex-KR teammate Jason Netherton, who is now the club’s Head of Academy and spent the vast majority of his playing career with the Robins.

The Hull-born 41-year-old is relishing a reunion with Lovegrove, adding: “It’s a terrific appointment. You only have to look at what Rhys has done as head coach of Keighley, and most recently at London Broncos, to know what he’ll bring to our young lads in the Academy.”

“Having spent eight seasons with him as a player at Hull KR, I know his outstanding attitude and work ethic towards the game will be invaluable to our junior pathways.

“I’m excited to be working with Rhys again.”

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