Hull KR v Wigan: No Battle of the Kings as forward sits out

James Gordon
George King

Photo by Craig Thomas/News Images

Hull KR forward George King will miss out on the chance to go head-to-head with brother Toby in Thursday night’s televised clash against Wigan.

George, 28, is still sidelined with a calf injury that saw him sit out the Challenge Cup win over Batley.

Ahead of the game against Batley, Hull KR coach Willie Peters said: “George King has a tight calf, so we will probably rest George. He will be named in the team and there is a possibility he will play, but at this stage we’d rather rest him than add any further damage to that.”

He didn’t feature against the Bulldogs and has dropped out of the 21-man squad altogether for the meeting with Wigan, which is a repeat of the round one clash that the Robins won 27-18.

Peters added: “George King won’t play this week. He will be one more week and will be available for Magic Weekend.”

King’s absence is a blow to Peters’ options in the pack, with Australian forward Rhys Kennedy handed a one-match ban by the disciplinary panel earlier this week.

They are also without Lachlan Coote and Jordan Abdull, but Matt Parcell and Corey Hall return.

Wigan have injuries of their own as Kai Pearce-Paul and Ethan Havard drop out from the team that won away at Leeds in the Challenge Cup.

Young hooker Tom Forber, who made his Super League debut for the Warriors at Craven Park last season, and prop Harvey Makin come in in their place.

Wigan coach Matt Peet was full of praise for opposite number Willie Peters, who is in his first senior head coach role after previously being assistant at Manly, South Sydney and Newcastle in the NRL. Peters played in Super League UK for Gateshead, Wigan and Widnes between 1999 and 2004.

Peet said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for the way Willie has got the team playing. I think everyone has been impressed. I think you can see this year that they are in it for the long haul and it’s brilliant for Super League.

“For what’s happening at Hull KR, it has got some vibrancy about it on and off the field.”

MORE: ‘Everyone has been impressed’ – Matt Peet pays tribute to fellow Super League coach

The two sides are level on 16 points in the Super League table with eight wins from 12 games. Whoever wins will be second come Friday morning, two points behind leaders Warrington who are away at Leigh on Friday night.

Super League sponsors Betfred make Wigan slight favourites, offering Hull KR +2 on the handicap, for the game that takes place on Thursday evening.

Hull KR v Wigan squad news

Hull KR 21-man squad: Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Sue, Parcell, Linnett, Minchella, Litten, Batchelor, Storton, Keinhorst, Lewis, Hadley, Senior, Wood, Johnson, Luckley, Aydin, Laulu-Togaga’e, Hall.

Wigan 21-man squad: French, King, Wardle, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Smithies, Ellis, Shorrocks, Mago, Thornley, O’Neill, Miski, Hill, Nsemba, Forber, Hampshire, Makin.