The majority of his squad has come up with the team from National League 1, giving the club a slight advantage over previously promoted teams. The question everyone needs answering is will these players be good enough for this level?
Morgan seems to think so and after all, why should we doubt him? The youngest coach in Super League, formerly of Parramatta Eels, masterminded Toulouse’s memorable Challenge Cup run in 2005, including a shock victory over Widnes Vikings, and led Hull KR on a 24 game unbeaten run and a virtually flawless season in 2006, as the Robins were promoted having won the Grand Final, also against the Vikings.
The stars of last season’s successful promotion campaign will no doubt be given their chance in Super League XII. Ben Cockayne makes the step up to the top tier having played in the amateur game just two seasons ago. His undoubted passion is there, but with his short temper, will he be able to make an impact in Super League?
A lot will depend on the half back pairing of Murrell and Webster. They are bound to face much more stiff opposition than they found last season, and it’s going to be a challenge for them to see whether they can still dominate teams like they used to. This could be critical. If either of these players fails to live up the standards the league demands, then Hull KR could be in for an extremely tough battle.
Outside of the retainees, a number of solid, Super League experienced pack members have been brought in, namely Huddersfield’s Jim Gannon and Hull’s Chris Chester, who will add guile but also ability to the pack. Their star signing, Michael Vella, comes over from Parramatta with great respect, and they’ll be looking for him to create a big impact up front.
The never ageing Stanley Gene returns to the club where it all started in England for him, and a lot will depend on his fitness and versatility, particularly if the Robins need to search for plan B. The re-signing of Pat Weisner may also be a shrewd one, as he too can cover the team’s influential positions.
Morgan has made a bold move in backing his National League stars – the ultimate question that is, at the moment, impossible to answer, is whether they can become Super League stars.