In this series, we put together the ultimate Super League starting 13’s for each club that has seen at least five seasons in the competition.
Today it’s the turn of Hull KR, so here’s who we think would make their ultimate Super League XIII…
1. Ben Cockayne
Cockayne will go down in the history books for scoring the winning try as Rovers claimed their first-ever Super League win over Wakefield in round one of 2007. He was already very well known at the club, having starred for KR in their promotion season the previous year, and would go on to become a Super League favourite. He made a total of 188 appearances for the club, scoring 52 tries.
Notable mentions: Shaun Briscoe, Shannon McDonnell, Craig Hall
2. Peter Fox
After successful spells with York and Wakefield, Fox signed with KR ahead of the 2008 season and would go on to be their most prolific try-scorer over the next four years. He topped the club’s try charts in 08, 09 and 10, with totals of 15, 18 and 16 respectively and earned international honours for his efforts, picking up six caps for England and scoring seven tries.
Notable mentions: Luke Dyer, Jon Steel, Ken Sio
3. Kris Welham
Welham is one of Rovers’ most notable modern-day academy products. He debuted for the first team in 2006 aged 19 and went on to spend 10 years at his hometown side, making 191 appearances – the most by any player at the club in the Super League era. He also scored 102 tries, including 26 in 2011, and was called up by the England Knights in the same year.
Notable mentions: Chev Walker, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Thomas Minns
4. Jake Webster
Webster arrived on British shores in 2008 and went on to be a fan favourite at the five British clubs he played for. Rovers were his first Super League side and he was an instant hit, with his size and power winning over fans. He made 105 appearances for the club in total, scoring 41 tries.
Notable mentions: Gareth Morton, Kane Linnett
5. Josh Mantellato
Italian international Mantellato came to Super League with little to no reputation from his time down under. He’d made two appearances for Newcastle Knights and spent the rest of his career in the lower leagues. He made a big impression during his two seasons on Humberside, though, scoring a total of 482 points in just 45 games and becoming renowned for his goal-kicking and skilful finishing ability. He also had a big hand in helping the side reach the Challenge Cup final in 2015.
Notable mentions: David Hodgson, Daniel Fitzhenry, Byron Ford
6. Blake Green
Green shone so much at the Robins that not only did he attract interest from title-challenging Wigan, he’s also gone on to have a successful career since returning to Australia. A smart halfback with a reliable kicking game, the 33-year-old achieved a win percentage of 45% in his two seasons at the at the club, which isn’t bad for a team who finished outside the top six.
Notable mentions: Scott Murrell, Terry Campese, Travis Burns
7. Michael Dobson
The other half of the Green-Dobson partnership, the New South Welshman spent six years at KR, racking up 53 tries and 534 goals in 153 games. He had a wand of a left foot and was pinpoint both in-game and from the tee, and played a leading role in several big wins, including victories over Wigan, Warrington and St Helens in his first two seasons. He was also named in the 2009 Super League Dream Team.
Notable mentions: James Webster, Albert Kelly, Danny McGuire
8. Jason Netherton
Netherton was somewhat of an unsung hero at KR. He was never the biggest, strongest or most powerful but could always be relied upon to do a job and do it well. He joined the club in 2005 following spells with Leeds and London and went on to make 167 appearances in 10 years, even answering the club’s call to return from a stint in Australia in 2013 when they were struggling with injuries. He always played with pure grit and determination, hence his inclusion in this side.
Notable mentions: Makali Aizue, Scott Taylor, Mickey Paea
9. Josh Hodgson
Despite starting his career with Hull FC, it was with KR where Hodgson really made his mark on the game. He was given his chance by Justin Morgan in 2010 and grabbed it with both hands, becoming one of the most dangerous dummy halves in Super League and, more recently, the NRL. His game has hit a new level since moving down under but the foundations for that development were laid at the Robins, with whom he made 134 appearances.
Notable mentions: Ben Fisher, Shaun Lunt
10. Mick Vella
Vella was signed for the Robins’ first season back in Super League following their promotion in 2007, moving to the UK just a year after winning a battle with thyroid cancer. He’d been a solid performer for Parramatta in the NRL and brought a similar energy to the Robins, taking over as captain in his second season. He made a total of 121 appearances for the club and will go down as one of their greatest forwards in the modern era.
Notable mentions: David Tangata-Toa, Liam Watts, Iain Morrison, Michael Weyman
11. Clint Newton
Newton arrived in 2008 as head coach Justin Morgan looked to freshen up his options in the second row. Then 26, Newton had a reputation as a hard-working, no-nonsense forward but adapted certain technical aspects of his game for Super League and became a huge leader for the Robins. He spent three years at the club, scoring an impressive 40 tries in 100 games, and was one of three Rovers players named in the 2009 Super League Dream Team.
Notable mentions: Graeme Horne, Matt Cook
12. Ben Galea
Also a 2009 Dream Team inclusion, Galea arrived at the same time as Newton, with the pair forming a formidable back row combination on either side of the field. Unlike his fellow countryman, Galea was always more of a ball-playing forward, even filling in at stand-off from time to time. He was also named captain following Mick Vella’s retirement in 2011, such was his stature at the club.
Notable mentions: Cory Paterson, Mark O’Neill
13. Rhys Lovegrove
Lovegrove just pips Stanley Gene to this spot, but not by much. He came to the UK as a 20-year-old in 2007 on loan from St George but decided to stay in East Yorkshire and went on to become a firm fan favourite, making 160 appearances across eight years. He was tenacious, aggressive and tough, and constantly led from the front.
Notable mentions: Stanley Gene, Chris Chester