Hull KR coach Tim Sheens has warned the club’s supporters that there is not a significant chunk of their salary cap available to spend on new recruits – but insists they are still in the market for fresh faces.
The Robins coach has explained how a number of key players who took pay cuts to remain with them in the Championship last year have inevitably been rewarded for not only their loyalty, but helping the club back into Super League at the first attempt.
And Sheens says while they are active in the transfer market, they are not in a position to be able to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds due to their salary cap situation.
He told TotalRL: “There’s still two quota spots available and a little bit of money, but not as much as people think.
“We spent a lot last year to get back into Super League and guys who took pay cuts last year to play in the Championship get an increase this year, and rightly so.
“They stood by the club last year so they get their money back this year. We haven’t got half a million quid floating around or anything like that. We’ve got a bit of room but I’ve got a strong squad up to 30 players who not only could play Super League, but have played Super League.”
Sheens’ pre-season plans will step up a notch this weekend when they face cross-city rivals Hull FC in Danny Houghton’s testimonial game – though the Australian was quick to point out he will use the game for experimental purposes.
He said: “I really don’t see it as a derby, it’s a friendly. We’ll have big games with them throughout the year when we’re all at full strength and in competition mode.
“It’s a game we want to play because it’s Danny Houghton’s testimonial but it’s a step up from our last game and that leads us into our camp before we play Wakefield. Wakey is my focus and I’m sure Lee is focused on his start, not on this weekend.
“Not too many, if any, will play 80 minutes – so we’ll mix things up. I’m experimenting a bit with different things and I’m sure Lee will be the same.
“I’ve got about eight or nine in the injured group who could feature in my starting 13, so there’s a fair bit of experience to come back. I’m told when we go to Spain they’ll be available, so I’ll go into the London friendly with my so-called best combinations then.”