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Exclusive: Rowan Milnes opens up on competition for places and working with Danny McGuire who “could still hack it at this level”

Hull KR’s finally got their season up and running last night with a 26-10 win over Castleford after a rocky start to the campaign.

However, despite this slow start, there’s plenty of reasons for Hull KR to be optimistic and not least their current crop of halfbacks. On Friday night, 2021 Man of Steel nominee Jordan Abdull lined up alongside the mercurial Mikey Lewis as the pair guided the Robins to a first win of the season.

Abdull kicked three goals on the night whilst Lewis for the first time this season failed to cross the whitewash having scored a lovely try against Wigan in Round One.

However, not included in the side was fellow young halfback Rowan Milnes who equally caught the eye in 2021 with some astute performances and a superb try against Hull FC in the derby.

Speaking exclusively to Serious About Rugby League, Milnes noted just how important this competition for places is in a side hoping to be successful.

“It’s not really a rivalry,” Milnes said, “It’s probably the opposite. We all really get along. It’s healthy to have competition for places it brings the best out of us.

“I wouldn’t call it a rivalry, we’re really close on and off the field. That’s the squad as a whole and I think we’ve added some real strength in depth this year which can only be a good thing because it brings the best out of everyone.

“Abo [Jordan Abdull] killed it last year and was close to the Man of Steel and Mikey [Lewis] had a fantastic end when he came back from York.

“We’re all the same position but we’re all very different players so we can learn from each other. Something you’re maybe not as strong at, one of the other boys has it as a strength. It’s good to pick each other’s brains.”

Beyond the fantastic trio of talented halfbacks, the Robins also have perhaps the best halfback in Super League history on their coaching staff in the shape of Danny McGuire.

The former Leeds skipper is the league’s all-time leading try scorer and holds the record for the most Super League titles won at a single club with eight titles won with the Rhinos alongside Rob Burrow who shares the record.

He then joined Hull KR in 2018 and starred for the Robins over the course of a two-year stint before joining the coaching staff.

Milnes believes that McGuire has been key to the development of the halfbacks currently at Craven Park telling Serious About Rugby League, “It’s mad. It’s weird because you can see it in him, in his head he’s still a player and sometimes at training he’ll join in and he’ll do something and you’ll think ‘Jesus you could still hack it at this level.’

“His career speaks for itself and me, Mikey and Jordan get a lot out of him, it’s the little details I think that he says which stick in the brain.

“Since he’s come in I think my game’s come on leaps and bounds. I think he’s had a lot to do with that alongside the other coaches David Hodgson and Stanley Gene.”

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