Hull KR Head Coach Tony Smith admits he is pleased with the depth and desire of his squad as they look to enjoy a successful 2020 campaign.
Having arrived at the club midway through last season following Tim Sheens’ departure, the Australian helped the Robins avoid relegation on points difference.
In the off-season, Smith has overseen a complete revamp of the Hull KR squad, with 20 players making the move to Humberside, including half-back Jordan Abdull, hooker Matt Parcell and New Zealand international Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
The Robins have 30 first-team players to choose from, and Smith believes the depth at his disposal will help drive standards as the year progresses.
He said: “We wanted competition for places and for people to work their way into the team. Just because you’re given a certain number at the start of the season, it doesn’t mean you are going to play most of the season.
“There’s a little bit of recognition for reputation at the start [of the season], but reputations go out of the window once the games come around.
“Those people with good reputations deserve it. But if those players get injured or there’s a dip in form, we’ve got people to come through with a point to prove.”
Among the new recruits is on-loan Warrington second-rower Harvey Livett. The 22-year-old struggled to gain a regular spot at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and was restricted to just 11 appearances in 2019.
Smith hopes that his new signings will arrive with a real point to prove, and added that the culture created at the club has been really pleasing to see.
“There’s a real hunger and desire within the group,” he admitted. “It’s good to have a squad that is competitive but also supportive of one-another.
“They understand that as a group, they can’t all be picked on any given week. We need to encourage each other and they’re doing that really well at the moment.”