Stomach bug hits Hull KR as Tony Smith provides squad update for St Helens visit

Hull KR have been hit by illness with a bug being passed around that has affected a number of their players.

Dean Hadley missed out on their victory over Castleford Tigers last week and the stomach bug that struck him down has been passed on to a number of other players too.

Head coach Tony Smith said that “five or six” players have been suffering with it, severely hampering his preparations for the visit of champions St Helens on Friday.

“We’re not certain what squad will look like,” said Smith. “Since Friday we’ve had six with the stomach bug, it’s knocked them out a bit.

“Three of them have not yet been in since the Castleford game. It’s tricky to judge (when players will be in contention) because not eating properly drains you, even if you return to training.

“Last week (beating Castleford) showed that even with some last-minute disruptions, we can get the job done.

“We want as little disruption as possible in preparation, but things get thrown up in life sometimes and you have to deal with them. We will cope with it.”

On the injury front, Smith is hopeful that Lachlan Coote will be able to make a return this week after missing the previous two rounds with a hamstring injury.

Korbin Sims was another late withdrawal for the Castleford match after suffering a neck problem in training, but the Robins boss is also optimistic the forward will be able to feature against St Helens.

Will Maher (eye socket) and Rowan Milnes (ankle) are also back available, but Ben Crooks (knee) and Luis Johnson (foot) remains sidelined and Kane Linnett is a concern with the quad injury that forced him off last week.

Looking ahead to the visit of champions St Helens to Craven Park, Smith said: “It’ll be tough because they are the three-time champions, but we don’t go into any game thinking of odds or what the pundits are saying.

“We want to put in a really good performance, just like we want to every week. If you do that, you have a chance of winning.”