Category: On The Pitch


Hull Kingston Rovers Head Coach Tim Sheens has spoken positively about the strength of the side leading up to their first pre-season friendly against Widnes Vikings this Sunday.

Sheens has highlighted the real sense of competition within the side, insisting pre-season will offer a great insight to his starting thirteen that is yet to be decided.

He spoke of the inclusion of new additions Kane Linnett and Josh Drinkwater, alongside looking to find the perfect combinations throughout the spine of the team.

“We’ll have a good squad of around 23 which is good for us at this stage, there are one or two young guys, but most are seniors so we’re looking fairly strong,” said Sheens, who is sponsored by 360 Accountants.

“Josh Drinkwater and Kane Linnett will be involved but managed, having only been in the country for two weeks and haven’t quite done what everyone else has managed.

“I think I’ve got two full teams with enough to replace a few, but I don’t want the standards to drop, everyone will get a chance this week including those outside the starting 13.

“This friendly will be important to help us make a few decisions for next week which is our main trial, that’s the one that gets us ready for the season.

“It’s important to fit the new guys in but obviously we’re still looking at our spine with Drinkwater, Atkin and McGuire, then fullback with Atkin, Hall and young Will Dagger.

“They’re two important positions to find out and solve, then with Shaun Lunt out we’ve been looking at options in the nine position with Tommy Lee, Danny Addy and George Lawler.

“For the first time in my three years I can say the side can fluctuate on form, prior there was times you could play poorly, and we didn’t have another option, there’s genuine competition now.”

Rovers will take on recently relegated Widnes Vikings in a rearranged fixture at the LD Nutrition Stadium, despite their misfortune Sheens is expecting a competitive match.

Sheens suggested most of the competitiveness will come from the players pushing for a starting spot, yet also confirmed there will be a chance for the younger players.

“I think the first half with the more experienced players will be very competitive, you look at Anthony Gelling and Krisnan Inu in the centres and that gives you an idea,” said Sheens.

“They’ll put some youngsters out in the second half as will we, but we have more seniors available than youngsters, but there are guys with less experience who will play.

“The friendlies will prove competitive between the players, no one is secure in their position this year and you can feel that around the training ground, it’s a positive mood.”

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