Super League 2024: Hull KR preview, players to watch and predicted finish

Rugby League World says

One of the most positive things to happen in Super League in recent years has been the emergence of Hull KR as serious play-off contenders.

That began under Tony Smith, before Willie Peters took charge and continued to take the Robins forward.

They were within 80 minutes of a debut Old Trafford appearance last season, so the key to taking that next step this time around will be finding a way to overcome any nerves that were prevalent in that semi-final. 

But that will get easier the more they prove themselves with strong performances, as will the added experience of new signings Joe Burgess, Niall Evalds and Oliver Gildart.

Losing Jordan Abdull to Catalans might have been considered as more of a blow had fellow half back Mikey Lewis not been one of England’s stand out performers in the test series against Tonga. He’ll be keen to take that international form back to his club and make a real difference.

Three to watch

Peta Hiku is a high-calibre signing by Hull KR, a strong and dangerous back with over 200 NRL appearances to his name as well as 16 caps for New Zealand. He has been signed primarily to play fullback, where the Robins will welcome a reliable regular after Lachlan Coote was forced to retire midway through last year.

Tyrone May is another strong addition, arriving after two years with Catalans. In the past three years he has won an NRL Grand Final and reached Super League and World Cup finals, and will be tasked with taking Hull KR into the big games too. There is extra pressure on the halfback to excel after Jordan Abdull was allowed to leave.

Elliot Minchella has replaced the retired Shaun Kenny-Dowall as Rovers’ captain, reward for his impressive progress in recent years. He is a true loose-forward, dynamic and dangerous, and is key to how Hull KR play. At 27, he is only just coming into his prime years, and should be a leader now in more ways than one.

Did you know?

Hull KR were slow starters in the game’s summer era. In the inaugural season of 1996, they were in the third tier, winning that division with 21 victories from 22. They first featured in Super League in 2007 and after dropping out in 2016, returned at the first attempt.


1 Peta Hiku, 2 Niall Evalds, 3 Tom Opacic, 4 Oliver Gildart, 5 Ryan Hall, 7 Mikey Lewis, 8 Sauaso Sue, 9 Jez Litten, 10 George King, 11 Dean Hadley, 12 James Batchelor, 13 Elliot Minchella, 14 Matt Parcell, 15 Sam Luckley, 16 Jai Whitbread, 17 Matty Storton, 19 Yusuf Aydin, 20 Kelepi Tanginoa, 21 Corey Hall, 22 Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e, 23 Louis Senior, 24 Reiss Butterworth, 25 Harvey Moore, 26 AJ Wallace, 27 Tyrone May, 28 Zach Fishwick, 29 Louix Gorman, 30 Leo Tennison, 31 Lennie Ellis, 32 Connor Barley, 33 Harvey Horne, 34 Neil Tchamambe, 35 Joe Burgess.

Potential milestones

Joe Burgess needs 12 tries for 150 in his career… 
Niall Evalds needs 4 tries for 100 in Super League… 
Ryan Hall needs 7 tries to draw level with, or 8 to overtake, Danny McGuire as Super League’s all-time leading try scorer…
George King needs 17 appearances for both 100 for the club and 200 in Super League

RLW predicts: 4th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 492 (January 2024)

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