Hull KR boss Tony Smith hopes to be able to welcome back a couple of key men for Friday night’s clash with Castleford Tigers. It’s an all or nothing Challenge Cup quarter-final and the Rovers boss will take confidence from the fact that Jordan Abdull and Dean Hadley have recovered from issues.
Abdull missed last week’s win over Warrington Wolves with an ear infection, while Dean Hadley has overcome a calf injury to be named in the Robins’ 21-man squad. Both are likely to be involved at Craven Park and they’ll be keen to impress against their former head coach Lee Radford, who looks to be finding his feet with Castleford after a tough start to life at Wheldon Road.
It seems Abdull will return to the halves in place of Rowan Milnes, who stepped in late and did well against the Wolves last time out. It’s probably harsh on Milnes, who hardly put a foot wrong on the night, but Abdull is undoubtedly the senior and preferred option in the pivot position.
Tom Garratt misses out after picking up a head knock last time out and it seems a straight choice between Will Maher and Matty Storton to start alongside George King through the middle. Maher started at prop on a regular basis last season, though, and for that reason he could be the likelier of the two to get the nod.
Elsewhere, having missed the last three games, Dean Hadley could be set to make his return to the side off the bench. That would allow Smith to keep the changes in his winning side to a minimum.
Predicted Hull KR side: Lachlan Coote; Jimmy Keinhorst, Sam Wood, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall; Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis; Will Maher, Matt Parcell, George King; Frankie Halton, Kane Linnett, Elliot Minchella.
Bench: Korbin Sims, Matty Storton, Jez Litten, Dean Hadley