Minichiello prepared for KR battle

The word ‘friendly’ is not the appropriate term to describe the Hull derby today.

It’s a fact known all too well by Mark Minichiello, who has admitted that today’s encounter isn’t going to be one for the faint-hearted.

The forward impressed in 2015 and looks to recapture that form against the Airlie Birds’ rivals today.

But the 33-year-old knows his and the rest of the team’s intensity will have to be at peak levels to ensure they get the performance they crave.

“Everyone knows when you play Rovers that it’s going to be a physical encounter,” he told TotalRL.

“It won’t be a friendly out there and everyone wants to prove themselves in such a ferocious atmosphere like the Hull derby. It sets a marker down for round one too, and it’s good to have a game like that and test ourselves and see where we’re at.

“It’s been a strong pre-season; standards have improved this year throughout the camp, and that includes players and staff. You should see a better end result out on the field this year and I’m pretty confident that we’re set for a good season and improve a lot on last year.”