Hull KR interim head coach James Webster hailed Albert Kelly’s full return to fitness, as the half-back confirmed via social media he will remain at the club in 2017.
The 25-year-old wrote on his Twitter page that he will stay with the Robins next season, choosing not to pursue interest from the NRL and instead to exercise the final year of his contract.
Prior to his announcement, Kelly faced a tough battle for fitness, but has since returned to his former self, boosted by the return of partner in the halves Terry Campese.
Webster paid homage to the Australian’s honesty during a difficult time, and added he has seen vast improvements in his physical condition since his return.
“It was one of the reasons he wasn’t playing and he had a lot of injuries, probably because he was too heavy,” he told TotalRL.
“He hadn’t had the ability to do the work he needed, we needed to get a fully-fit Albert Kelly back and we’ve nearly got that and he’s a fitter, faster player than he was two months ago and that’s credit to him.
“He was pretty honest, he had a hamstring problem and a back problem then some abdominal problems which stopped him training a lot so it took a bit more time to make sure he’s been fit and ready to go.”
Hull KR host fourth-placed Wigan Warriors on Friday, and will be looking to build on their convincing 16-54 victory over Wakefield Wildcats last week.
With a victory putting the Robins in good stead to make a late push on the top eight, Webster said he expects a tough test from Wigan, but backed his side to put up a fight.
“It’s an important game for them with their top four and League Leaders’ Shield and if we win we’ll get closer to the eight because if Widnes win we’ll need to make sure we do to stay in touch,” he added.
“There’s going to be some parts of this game where we’ll be under the pump and Wigan are a top side and they can stretch you in all places.
“The spine of their team is outstanding and the full-back and two halves can cause damage, they’ve got so much strike in their side and we need to be good for long periods.”