Hull KR aiming higher, says Parcell

Hull Kingston Rovers finished at the bottom of Super League last year but Matt Parcell doesn’t believed that reflects the quality of last season’s Robins’ squad.

Parcell has called on his team to be more consistent and competitive in 2021, as the Robins seek to climb the table and bid to become a force in the competition.

“The goal for everyone is to compete,” insists Parcell.

“Last year we showed glimpses of what we could do, but we weren’t consistent enough. This year, with the additions to last year’s squad, we can really compete and make a good showing.

“Pre-season has seen everyone training really well and gelling together.

“But all the boys who came last year have now had a year with us and they’ve settled in well, while this year’s new guys have really added to the squad.”

Hull KR won just three games from 17 in 2020, which would have seen them relegated in any normal season, and they were beset by injuries.

“It was a tough year,” Parcell admits.

“But after the lockdown Tony (Smith) rotated the squad quite well. A lot of guys got game-time and that benefited everyone going into this year, especially the younger guys coming in, they all got a good minutes. And everyone firing is what we’re going to need this year.”

Parcell has had a difficult spell at KCOM Craven Park since making the move from Leeds midway through the 2019 season, having made only 16 appearances for the Robins after dealing with shoulder and ankle injuries.

“Before lockdown I had played very few games in 12 months,” he says.

“So lockdown was probably a good thing for me. In the off-season, not being able to go back to Australia, I just trained through and this is probably the best I’ve ever felt. I’ve been training really hard and I just hope that correlates with my performances on the field.”

At 28, the former Brisbane Broncos and Manly hooker is one of the potential candidates to captain Hull KR this season.

“Obviously it’s Tony’s call but either way our spine’s going to be quite young this year,” says Parcell.

“We’re going to have some young halves, so my job will be to take on a lot of responsibility, especially guiding the team around and getting us to the right spots.”

Parcell’s contract with the Robins expires at the end of 2021, but he has a mutual option for a one-year extension.

“I’m just excited to have a good pre-season, which I didn’t get last year. So I feel really good and I’m just excited to start playing footy again.”

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