Tom Garratt embracing new life at Hull KR despite pre-season setbacks

Tom Garratt is embracing being a full-time player for the first time, even if his pre-season at Hull Kingston Rovers has been hit by injury and Covid.

The prop forward was signed from Dewsbury Rams after three years with the Championship side, following his having played in the amateur game with Siddal prior to that.

It’s been a great rise to the top for the 27-year-old and Garratt is determined to make the most of the Super League shot afforded to him by Rovers and their head coach Tony Smith.

While pre-season has not been the smoothest, with Garratt having nursed an injury before suffering minor symptoms after catching Covid on Christmas Day, he believes he’s making good progress.

“I was out for two or three weeks with a hamstring injury and then I got Covid, so in personal terms it might not have been my best pre-season but it’s definitely not been my worst,” Garratt told League Express.

“I’m just happy to be there. The standard of training, the players who are around me, the coaching, the facilities. Everything is just the best experience.

“I’ve got such a great appreciation of it for having not had it previously. Being in that world is a different kettle of fish.

“The main thing is being able to have time to myself outside the job, where it’s not just work and rugby. You’ve got a job but you’ve got a life outside it as well.

“I’m making the most of the training as well, picking the brains of people like Jimmy (McDaniel), who does all the weight sessions, picking Tony Smith’s brain and the other coaches. I’m using everything to my full advantage.”

Garratt stood out in the Championship, especially for his physicality and his aerobic fitness, and he is looking to keep building that further to meet the demands of Super League as well as adding to his skill set.

“My keeping up with the speed of the game is getting better, because it’s going to go up (in Super League),” he added.

“I’d like to say my handling and my dexterity skills are getting a little bit better, but not as much as I would have hoped, having missed a bit of pre-season.

“I’m not beating myself up, but I know with more time it’ll get better. I’m doing what I can, including the little extras outside the rugby time and at home.”

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