Smith’s recruits point to brighter 2021

Hull Kingston Rovers returned to pre-season training last week, with a number of their off-season signings linking up with the club.

Ryan Hall, Korbin Sims, Muizz Mustapha and Luis Johnson all linked up with Tony Smith’s side for the first time.

Two of the club’s other signings, Albert Vete and Brad Takairangi, are due to link up with the club once their visas arrive.

The Robins, who have been among the most active clubs on the recruitment front, finished bottom of Super League last year but Smith is planning a more successful season in 2021.

The club has also put a focus on its youth structures with the arrival of Lee Paterson as Head of Strength and Conditioning for their Academy and Scholarship sides.

John Bastian, the club’s head of youth, said: “Lee helped us out with the reserve-grade earlier in the year and he comes highly recommended by everyone he’s worked with. He’s well qualified with a Masters in Strength and Conditioning, and has some experience working with the England Students set-up.

“It will significantly strengthen the conditioning and fitness of the younger players to have someone solely focused on them and their individual progression. But I’d expect he will still link up and work with the first-team conditioner, Ben Cooper, at times.

“He’s worked hard to get to this point in his career and he’s very ambitious and passionate about working with the young players; he genuinely wants to make a difference. Further down the track he’s got ambitions to go further in the sport at the elite level.

“He’s enthusiastic and looking forward to joining up, and we’re looking forward to giving him that opportunity.”

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