Match preview: Hull Kingston Rovers v Hull FC

The first Hull derby of 2014 takes place tonight, with local bragging rights at stake once again as Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC lock horns at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

With the clash televised in front of millions of viewers, it is sure to be a fantastic clash as the two bitterest of rivals do battle for a precious two competition points in the race to make the top eight.

The Robins are able to welcome back prop Justin Poore, who has returned from a suspension to give head coach Craig Sandercock a timely boost ahead of the derby. Kris Keating and Liam Salter are expected to be fit, despite having picked up knocks during last week’s win against Warrington Wolves.

As for Hull FC, they make just one change to their squad for the clash, as the experienced Richard Horne comes back into the fray at the expense of Aaron Heremaia.

The Squads
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Caro, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Gardner, Green, Hall, J.Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Larroyer, Lovegrove, Netherton, Poore, Salter, Welham, Weyman.

Hull FC: Bowden, Carvell, Colbon, Ellis, Hadley, Horne, Houghton, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Tuson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.

The Stats
Hull FC have won the last two clashes against their fierce rivals, including that controversial derby fixture against the Robins at Magic Weekend 2013.

Chris Tuson needs two appearances to reach 100 for his career. Tuson has played 6 games in his first season for Hull FC, and was previously with Wigan – where he made 83 appearances (2008 & 2010-2013). He also played loan games for Blackpool (1) and Castleford (8) in 2010.

Rhys Lovegrove needs one appearance to reach 150 for Hull KR. Lovegrove made a try-scoring Robins debut – as a centre – in a 30-20 home defeat to Hull FC on 8 July, 2007.

The Prediction
It is always tough to predict a derby fixture – especially between the two Hull sides. However, with the home advantage in their favour – and some decent form – we back the Robins to upset their neighbours – just!

Want more Rugby League news and features? Subscribe to the online version of League Express newspaper and Rugby League World magazine. You can also connect with Total Rugby League on the social media platform of your choice.