Injured Hull KR fullback sets comeback target

Will Dagger will again wear number 19 for Hull KR in 2022 – and is hoping to win a fitness race and make himself available for his club’s Super League season-opener.

With fellow fullback Lachlan Coote, newly signed from champions St Helens, recovering from shoulder surgery, the 22-year-old’s optimism will be welcome news for coach Tony Smith.

Hull KR has also signed exciting prospect Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e from League 1 Keighley on a two-year contract but may want the 18-year-old to have more of a settling-in period before blooding him at first-team level.

Dagger has gone under the knife after damaging ankle ligaments during training but he hopes to figure in part of Rovers’ warm-up schedule, which features games against Dewsbury and Huddersfield.

“I should be back for the second pre-season game,” said Dagger, who featured in the final five matches this year, including the play-off ties at his former club Warrington and Catalans.

Scotland international Coote, who has joined Rovers on a two-year deal, takes the number one shirt vacated by Australian Adam Quinlan, who was released at the end of the season.

Cook Island centre or second rower Brad Takairangi has moved up from eleven to three for his second season after moving from Parramatta, while Dean Hadley now has eleven.

Threequarter Sam Wood, who has moved from Huddersfield, will take number 24 while Laulu-Togaga’e will wear 29.

The 25, 26 and 27 shirts go to new pack signings Greg Richards (from London), Tom Garratt (Dewsbury) and Frankie Halton (Featherstone).

Hull KR 2022 squad numbers: 1 Lachlan Coote (last season Adam Quinlan), 2 Ben Crooks, 3 Brad Takairangi (Greg Minikin), 4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5 Ryan Hall, 7 Jordan Abdull, 8 Albert Vete, 9 Matt Parcell, 10 George King (Korbin Sims), 11 Dean Hadley (Brad Takairangi), 12 Kane Linnett, 13 Matty Storton (Dean Hadley), 14 Jez Litten, 15 Luis Johnson (George Lawler), 16 Korbin Sims (George King), 17 Elliot Minchella, 18 Jimmy Keinhorst (Matty Storton), 19 Will Dagger, 20 Mikey Lewis, 21 Rowan Milnes (Owen Harrison), 22 Will Maher, 23 Ethan Ryan, 24 Sam Wood (Joe Keyes), 25 Greg Richards (Rowan Milnes), 26 Tom Garratt (Will Maher), 27 Frankie Halton (Luis Johnson), 28 Will Tate (Muizz Mustapha), 29 Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e (Anesu Mudoti), 30 Charlie Cavanaugh (Will Tate), 31 Connor Moore (Tom Whur), 32 Daniel Okoro (Charlie Cavanaugh), 33 Max Kirkbright (Jimmy Keinhorst).

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