Leaving St Helens was gutting for Lachlan Coote, but he says the opportunity to match the success he enjoyed at a new club in Hull KR has “given me that drive again”.
The fullback enjoyed three trophy-laden years at Saints after arriving from North Queensland Cowboys, playing in all three of their Grand Final triumphs as well as helping them lift the Challenge Cup last season.
But those glories came at a cost, as a squad bulging with both established and young talent struggled to squeeze under the salary cap. Something had to give. And that something was Coote.
“It was a bit of a kick in the guts when they said they were only going to offer me one year,” said the 31-year-old. “But that’s the game these days.
“The direction they’re now heading in is keeping the young fellas and upping their deals and making sure they’re locked in for a while. To do that they had to let some blokes go.
“Unfortunately, that was me but I’ve come to a club that really wants me to be here and is heading in the right direction.”
While all the talk in Super League is of the potential for a St Helens ‘three-peat’ to become a ‘four-peat’, Coote is determined to have that feat to himself by helping Tony Smith’s Rovers go a couple of steps further than last year.
“Every season you go without winning a Grand Final is a waste of a season,” he said. “Coming here has given me that drive again.
“I would have found it hard to rock up for another pre-season at Saints and deliver those same standards, but coming here has freshened things up; new staff, new coach, new players to earn the respect of.”
Coote hasn’t been able to rip in fully yet though, as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery at the end of last season.
He’s doing some skills work but contact training will have to wait until mid-January, though he still has his eyes on the opening round of the Super League season.
“I’ll probably miss the friendlies but I’m aiming for round one,” said Coote.
“Tony likes all the injured boys to watch, so I’ve been picking things up here and there, and hopefully I can transition easily into the group.”
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