Hullfc.com take a look a closer look at this weekend’s opposition as the Black & Whites take on Hull Kingston Rovers in the Clive Sullivan Trophy friendly.
After being relegated following a 10-year spell in Super League in 2016, 2017 would see Hull KR successfully return to Super League at the first attempt after a season in the Championship.
Following a big change of personnel for the Robins, which included the likes of Adam Quinlan, Nick Scruton and Danny Addy joining the club, alongside Hull FC half-back Jordan Abdull on loan, Rovers went on to finish top of the league at the end of the regular season.
After facing close competition from the likes of London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers, KR took their place at the summit of the Championship table.
Tim Sheens’ side then finished third in the Qualifiers which saw them qualify for Super League 2018, beating top flight sides Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings in the process and avoiding the Million Pound Game.
Pre-season so far
The Robins’ big addition to their squad for 2018 has been eight-time Grand Final winner Danny McGuire. The former Leeds Rhinos man, who led his former side to lift the Super League trophy at Old Trafford in October, will be crucial for the Red and Whites this season.
Meanwhile, former Hull FC hooker Tommy Lee has joined the club from St Helens, with former Saints man Mose Masoe starting his first full season with the club after joining towards the end of 2017.
Hull KR have opted to add youth to their squad. Young French half Thibault Franck joins the club, alongside former Warrington and Salford backs Will Dagger and Connor Williams.
Rovers have already kicked off 2018, facing York City Knights in Ben Cockayne’s testimonial last weekend at KCOM Craven Park.
The Red & Whites ran out 28-6 over the North Yorkshire side, with Danny Addy scoring a brace of tries and McGuire putting in a positive performance on his debut.
Key Player: Danny McGuire
Hull KR’s key man in 2018 will undoubtedly be their new half-back Danny McGuire. The 35-year-old won eight Grand Finals during his time at Leeds, along with three World Club Challenges, three League Leaders’ Shields and two Challenge Cups.
One of Super League’s most decorated players of all time, McGuire brings a wealth of experience to a young Robins squad and will be the key man out of the field for Tim Sheens to guide his side around the pitch.
His kicking game will be important to put Hull KR in important positions, and may be important to getting the Robins over the try-line on Sunday.
Last five (including friendlies): LWWWW
Last time out: Hull FC 16-40 Hull KR (2017 Clive Sullivan Trophy)
The sides last met back in January 2017 when Hull KR claimed the Clive Sullivan Trophy. Adam Quinlan, Andrew Heffernan, Danny Addy and Jamie Ellis all bagged tries for the visitors while youngster Will Oakes scored a brace.
Hull had tries from Albert Kelly, along with youngsters Mike Adlard and Connor Bower, but a young FC side went down to the Robins.
The loss ended a winning run for Hull in derby matches, with FC winning the last six against their cross-city rivals including the 2016 Clive Sullivan Trophy.
The rivalry between Hull FC and Hull KR in one of the oldest and most fierce in rugby league, with the sides competing for the Clive Sullivan Trophy in their annual pre-season match.
Since Hull KR entered Super League for the first time in 2007, the two sides have gone on to meet 31 times in competitive games, with the Black & Whites winning 16 games to the Red & Whites 15.
FC have enjoyed more of the derby spoils in recent seasons, winning all three clashes back in 2016, including on Good Friday at KCOM Craven Park where the Hull came from 20-0 down with 20 minutes to play to win the game 22-20.
Tickets are on sale now and you can be there by visiting the club’s retail stores, by calling the ticket office on 01482 505 600 or online from ticketing.hullfc.com
Buy your tickets now and beat the queues on match day!