Kelly & Blair reject NRL to stay at Hull KR

Hull KR have confirmed that Maurice Blair and Albert Kelly will be staying put at the club in 2016.

Both players have turned down the chance to look to return to Australia with NRL clubs.

“It is really important for us moving forwards that we retain our best players and Albert and Bobby certainly fit into that category,” said Rovers head coach Chris Chester.

“Bobby has done a great job in the halves over the last month and we’ve already seen his quality and versatility at centre and in the back row.

“Albert is a special talent who has made a huge impact on the competition and he is a player that supporters are excited to watch.

“He is instrumental in the style of rugby that we want to play and has already formed a fantastic partnership with Terry Campese.

“For both players to want to stay at the club shows we are heading in the right direction and really highlights the spirit and togetherness within the squad.”

Kelly acknowledged just how much he and Blair are enjoying life in Super League.

“Bobby and I are good friends and I know I speak for the both of us when I say we are really enjoying our time over here at Hull KR and the style of rugby played in the Super League competition,” he said.

“We’re enjoying living in the UK, as are my family, and we’re exciting about being part of this club. There’s a really good group of players here at the moment and a great culture in the changing room.

“We’re definitely heading in the right direction as a team and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season and 2016.

“Personally, I just want to get back on the field and play my part, so hopefully I can come through training this week and play against Castleford on Friday night.”

Hull KR CEO Mike Smith asserted that the Robins are now going to be in a strong positions for 2016.

“To have two important players prove they are committed to the club is fantastic news for all concerned,” he said.

“It means the bulk of our squad is now in place for 2016 and Chris is in the position where he can make tweaks where he feels necessary rather than the large-scale changes that were necessary going into this season.

“The most successful clubs have a continuity within the playing group from year to year and it was always our aim to keep the bulk of this year’s squad together for next season.

“With Albert and Bobby both deciding against seeking a contract in the NRL and our captain Terry Campese signing a new long-term deal earlier this year, hopefully we are now in a position to do just that and continue our recent progress.”

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