HULL KR have enjoyed a rapid rise in recent seasons, going from bottom of the Super League table in 2020 to Challenge Cup Finalists and Super League semi-finalists in 2023.
The tide began to turn under previous boss Tony Smith, but under Willie Peters, Rovers are thriving.
And, with off-field investment continuing to grow as new directors and board members put their money into the East Yorkshire club, the Robins are only going to get stronger both on and off the field.
Ahead of the 2024 Super League season, Rovers have signed the likes of Tyrone May, Peta Hiku, Niall Evalds and Oliver Gildart whilst linchpins Mikey Lewis, Jez Litten and Elliot Minchella continue to grow in stature.
May, Hiku and Lewis talked to Betfred Insights ahead of the new season, with May and Hiku explaining their decisions to move from Catalans Dragons and North Queensland Cowboys respectively.
May told Betfred Insights: “The last couple of years the Catalans have shown consistency with their results and where they’ve finished in the table, and I think KR are there or thereabouts. If I can bring that edge over here and take the club to the next step, that’s the aim.
“It’s always good to work under new people and get out of your comfort zone, and obviously I had a good couple of years under Stevie Mac but him and Willie are different. I’m looking forward to the new challenge with Willie, I know he’s got high expectations of me and the club and hopefully we can take them on.”
Meanwhile, it was a call from head coach Willie Peters that did the trick for Hiku: “The way they were last year, they competed on everything; they were a team that just looked like they were never giving up.
“When Willie gave me a call I started watching their games and they looked like a team that just wanted to work hard for each other. That helped me with my decision coming here and I’m very excited to play alongside these boys.
“You can see what kind of footy Willie’s driving at the club. He’s looking for the little effort areas, not really the big plays. When you do all the little things right, all the big things come later on, and that’s something he’s driving as a team and in the time we’ve been training together you can see everybody buying into what he wants.”
Whilst May and Hiku will be new boys at Craven Park in 2024, Mikey Lewis is almost part of the furniture despite being just 22 years of age.
The diminutive halfback enjoyed a stellar year in 2023, earning his first England caps in the end-of-season Test Series against Tonga after impressing head coach Shaun Wane.
For Lewis, it’s all about ignoring outside noise and continuing to improve this season.
Lewis told Betfred Insights: “Outside noise can easily distract you and you’ve just got to do what you do best and keep getting better every week because that’s what you aim for as a player, to be one of the best.
“You can go on about last year, and it was a really good year for me, I can’t lie, but this year hopefully I can go one better and have more consistency.”
League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.