Tony Smith excited by ‘hungry’ Hull KR’s strength in depth

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.”


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