New Hull KR recruit Nick Rawsthorne knows many of the club’s new acquisitions better than most.
The athletic utility back is no stranger to a large crop of the Robins’ new recruits, having been in similar circles to many of them throughout his career.
He is one of the numerous players commuting from West Yorkshire, with the 24-year-old making the trip down the M62 from Halifax with Joe Keyes and Elliott Minchella among others.
“We’ve asked about a coach for training,” Rawsthorne joked. “Or even better, just bring training to us given there’s that many of us.”
He’s encountered them on the field too. During his time with Toronto, he has gone face-to-face with many of them in the Championship or the Qualifiers.
The club’s recruitment drive has been big, but not necessarily headline-grabbing. 18 have come in, but many of those are young or from the lower leagues.
Rawsthorne himself fits into both of the above categories, and as such, is one of several unknown quantities in Super League circles.
That, naturally, has seen the Robins tipped as one of the early relegation candidates, but Rawsthorne believes the group assembled will prove success is possible with youth.
“There is a risk,” he said.
“But you’ve seen it in Championship, you get teams desperate to do well and are really enthusiastic. You still have some old heads who are still going to keep the younger players in check and bring that experience as well. Even though we’ve got some younger heads, there’s a lot of Super League games in them too.
“It doesn’t bother me or any of the other lads what’s being said outside of the group.
“You’ve got so many different clubs that have recruited well, but I think with the players we’ve recruited and the coach we’ve got we’re creating something good. I don’t think we’ll be in danger, I don’t want to speak too highly of ourselves, but I think we’ll be alright.”
In his time at Toronto, Rawsthorne scored an impressive 27 tries in 34 games. However, he insists his try-scoring ability isn’t his best skill, nor his favourite.
“It’s always nice scoring tries but I like to think it’s not just about that. In the last few years I’ve developed my yardage game. I like other parts of the game. A big part of my game is my yardage and I’d say that’s what I’m known for.
“I’ve had some tough love but it’s helped me. I’m still a developing player, I am going to be getting better in other areas too. But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy scoring tries!”