Elliot Minchella embracing ‘awesome’ derby opener and reveals Hull KR captaincy approach

HULL KR’S new captain has a laser focus on an “awesome” derby to open the season.

Elliot Minchella was appointed as skipper following the retirement of Shaun Kenny-Dowall at the end of last season.

His first game as full-time captain comes away to city rivals Hull FC this Thursday as Super League begins with a bang at the MKM Stadium.

And it’s a tie that he and the rest of the Hull KR squad have been anticipating for some time.

“Whenever the fixtures come out, you look for the derby. This year it’s round one,” said the loose-forward.

“I think it’s an awesome way to start the season. The crowd that we’re going to have there, close to 20,000, to play against our bitter rivals, I can’t wait for it. It’s awesome for the city, for Super League and for us as a club.

“At any club, all pre-season the talk is ’round one, round one, round one’. That’s been no different this year. We’re all well aware of which game is round one this year. We’re going to embrace and enjoy it.”

Hull KR won this fixture by a record margin, 40-0, on Good Friday last season, but Minchella expects a closer encounter this time.

“Whilst the 40 points on the board was great, we were happier with the zero. We aim every week to concede as few points as possible,” he added.

“I’d be very surprised if we score 40 again, but I’ll take a 1-0 win!”

The 27-year-old also says he won’t change who he is, now that he’s captain: “I’ll be genuine to who I am.

“I’ll speak when I think it’s the right time to speak, but at the same time, we’ve got loads of leaders in our team. I don’t rule the roost. I lead by example.”