By Ben Guzdek
The Red Robins begin their crusade back to the Super League this weekend as Bradford Bulls travel to Humberside.
The KC Lightstream Stadium could potentially be a full house as both sides are considered favourites for promotion.
Tim Sheens released his 19-man squad with a close to fully fit list, aside from Ben Cockayne, Graeme Horne and Jake Butler-Fleming, who are still injured. Will Jubb and Kieran Moran have joined York City Knights on a month-long loan deal.
Director of sport and Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock spoke to Yorkshire Voice and is confident the Robins will have a successful season with plenty of opportunities for youth players.
He said: “I think if you analyse any Super League Grand Final winning side then the core of that squad is made of young players who have come through the system. So we’re going to use that blueprint and I’m a big believer in playing younger players. We’ll get the chance to do that more in the Championship than in Super League.”
There will be tributes to the former president and Rugby League hall-of-famer Colin Hutton who recently passed away.
Saddened to hear of Colin Hutton’s passing. Loved listening to his stories during my time with @hullkr_online. A genuine RL man & top guy
— Brendon Smurthwaite (@Brendon7375) February 3, 2017
Colin Hutton was a great bloke. A real #rugbyleague man. Rest in peace.
— Garry Schofield (@GarrySchofield6) February 3, 2017
— Hull FC (@hullfcofficial) February 3, 2017
Interim coach Leigh Battie and his Bradford side will look to their loyal fans as they also make a bid for this season’s Championship after a troubled off-season and a player-exodus that nearly left the Bulls in the history books.
Battie spoke to the Telegraph & Argus: “It’s a tough start. They (Hull KR) have signed some of our players as well, which makes it a bit more interesting too.
“A game is a game, no matter who you play and we will take each week as it comes and tick them off.
“We will have plenty of support there helping us through, and that will help a lot going forward.”