Jez Litten eager to take on goal-kicking role after Hull KR’s early-season struggles

JEZ LITTEN is willing to keep putting in the hard work to become Hull KR’s first-choice goal-kicker.

Kicking has been a notable area for improvement in the early rounds of Super League, with fewer than half of their goal attempts successful (eleven scored and twelve missed).

In 2023, the duties were shared mostly between Lachlan Coote, Rowan Milnes and Brad Schneider, none of whom are still at the club.

And with Jordan Abdull, a Robins kicker in the past, also leaving on loan, the club has been working since pre-season with prospective kickers with the assistance of Doncaster Knights rugby union coach Joe Ford.

Peta Hiku was given the first go this season but missed four of his five attempts against Hull FC, while James Batchelor missed all five of his Super League kicks across four different matches before finally converting one in last week’s Challenge Cup win over Salford.

Litten goaled eight attempts out of eight between rounds two and four, before missing three of his five efforts in their win at Huddersfield and notching five from seven against the Red Devils.

Therefore the hooker holds the best record thus far, despite the 26-year-old admitting he hadn’t been a kicker since childhood.

“I’ve not done it for the first team but I did it when I was a young kid,” Litten told League Express.

“It’s still in there. I enjoy those pressure kicks. I’ll keep practising.

“Definitely (I want to do it long-term), it’s a motivation for me. I used to do it when I was younger and I feel like I can do it for us.”

As well as the responsibility of goal-kicking, Litten has started every league game so far this year.

He took the number-nine shirt from Matt Parcell in the off-season and their previous roles, with Parcell starting and Litten the interchange hooker, have been reversed accordingly.

“Squad numbers don’t mean too much; you’ve got to go and back it up. Hopefully (I am), but it’s only early on in the year,” said Litten.

“I enjoy (starting). I’m just doing my best for the team, and Matty does his best for the team.”