McGuire sees promise in Robins’ youth ranks

Assistant coach Danny McGuire reckons Hull KR’s future is rosy after seeing the club’s Academy players first hand.

They joined in a senior training session under the guidance of coach Tony Smith, McGuire, David Hodgson and Stanley Gene.

It came amid the RFL’s decision to reconsider withdrawing the club’s elite Academy licence.

Rovers now have two years to show they should be running a top-level player development system.

“It’s brilliant. We started a journey at Rovers at the back end of 2019, but Covid cut that short,” said McGuire.

“It was tough for some of the boys not playing rugby for almost 18 months, but we’ve had them training with the first team and experiencing what it’s like.

“I thought they were outstanding. I’ve got the give a lot of credit to John Bastian, Ben Cockayne, Jason Netherton and all the other coaches in the Academy set-up.

“I think they’ve done a fantastic job physically and I think that there were a few of the guys that were shocked at their strength and ability.

“We’re really pleased. It’s the start of the journey for these young boys and we’re really excited to see them progress.”

McGuire, who came through the Leeds development system, added: “I’ve spoken to a few of the boys after and I think they were genuinely humbled to join the first-team set-up.

“We’ve got a really good set of first-team lads here who made them feel welcome, but they just didn’t look out of place one bit, which was really pleasing and a testament to the coaching they’ve received.

“I remember my first time joining the first team at Leeds, you are a bit nervous and on edge, but it’s a great experience and we look forward to seeing them more this year.

“I think with the situation with Covid, it means that we have to fast-track some of these boys. We have to get them into the system a little quicker.

“I’m really glad that we got the green light for the elite licence and there are some really talented players coming through.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.