Joining Hull KR has prolonged my career, admits Danny McGuire as he embarks on final season

Danny McGuire insists he’s eager to repay Hull Kingston Rovers during his final season as a professional in 2019 – after revealing his move to the Robins prolonged his stellar career.

McGuire’s last season before retirement begins on Friday night, when the Robins host cross-city rivals Hull FC as part of a blockbuster opening weekend to the Super League season.

And the half-back told TotalRL that without his move to Hull KR, his career could have already been and he’s determined to repay the faith the club have showed in him.

“I think it’s prolonged my career,” McGuire said. “If I’d stayed at Leeds, I’m not sure I’d have done much more beyond the 2017 Grand Final. It’s revitalised me a little bit in the final years of my career and I want to repay them with a good season in my swan-song.”

McGuire also admits he’s quietly confident his last season can be a memorable one, too – though he insists there will be no dramatic mid-season u-turn on his retirement plans.

“My body is feeling good – but there won’t be any late twitches or changes to the plan,” he smiled.

“I’m definitely finishing this year. I know my body physically and mentally, and I know it’s the right time. I’m already doing a little bit of planning but I’m not totally sure what route I want to go down yet. I will keep involved in the game on some level for sure – if it’s coaching, I’ll have to earn my stripes: but I’m willing to do that.”

McGuire has had to wait over a year for his first appearance in a competitive Hull derby, as injuries and suspensions denied him the chance to play in any of the three meetings with FC last season.

However, he will get the chance to put that record right on Friday, and said: “I think I underestimated the passion between the two teams before I joined, and I was devastated to miss out on all three league games against them last year.

“It’s ridiculous that I’ve had to wait that long so I’m very, very excited to get stuck into it. Hopefully it’ll be a sell-out down at our place.

“We’re confident. We’ve added some real quality to the team and guys like Ben Crooks and Joel Tomkins, who came in last year, will be much better. We’re not making any bold statements but we’re quietly confident we can upset a few teams and a few predictions this year. We can do some good things.”