With Boxing Day games in sight the start of the Super League is just around the corner, but some players won’t be ready for round one.
One of those round one games sees Hull KR host Wigan Warriors in the 1pm kick-off that will kick-start Channel 4’s second season as Super League broadcasters.
The game will be preceded by the Club World Challenge, which Channel 4 also have rights to, starting at 7am but these are the names that could miss their club’s opening games.
Star full-back Lachlan Coote missed the end of the season through concussion but there’s nothing to suggest that the former Scotland international will be missing once the season starts off.
Winger Ethan Ryan also suffered injury late on in the season and consequently missed a call-up for the Irish World Cup squad with a hand injury, he’s been seen at the side’s warm weather training suggesting he’s fully fit for pre-season.
Both Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Greg Richards were announced as missing the end of the season but captain Kenny-Dowall has been seen in pre-season whilst Richards was suffering from a torn hamstring so should be well set to return for 2023.
Major signing Rhys Kennedy has arrived from the NRL but underwent surgery at the start of December for a knee problem which will see him miss most of pre-season and therefore be in a fitness race to make the opener.
Fellow signing Tom Opacic who has been seen as a major coup to play in the centres is also rehabbing from an arm injury whilst at the sides warm weather training, but it’s believed he’ll be fit for the opener and much of pre-season.
Youngster Will Dagger has had an injury-stricken time at Rovers and is currently rehabbing a ruptured achilles which could see him as a doubt for the opener.
Key man Mikey Lewis has also returned to training following an ankle injury that required surgery that he underwent in October. He has attended the warm weather training and is currently on the mend, and assumed to be healthy for the season opener.
Academy starlet Harvey Moore will miss the full 2023 season after ACL and meniscus surgery which will see him scheduled for a potential Super League debut being pushed back till at least 2024.
Centre Iain Thornley injured his ACL during the season and is well into the rehab process but with such a serious injury it’s a doubt that he’ll be fit for the season start.
Veteran Liam Farrell missed the end of the season and was left out of England’s World Cup squad with a knee injury. At the time it was stated to be an eight week recovery time, which has since passed, and he’s been pictured in training suggesting he’ll be fit for the KR encounter.
Liam Byrne received two separate one game bans during the World Cup and only served one with the Irish not progressing from the group. As a result he may have to serve the ban in a domestic game, but this is unclear and could even be served during pre-season.
With strong rumours circulating surrounding John Bateman leaving for Wests Tigers there’s potential he may not even be in the squad, although he remains a Wigan player for now.
Hull KR: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Ethan Ryan, 3 Tom Opacic, 4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5 Ryan Hall, 20 Mikey Lewis, 7 Jordan Abdull, 8 Sauaso Sue, 9 Matt Parcell, 10 George King, 11 Frankie Halton, 12 Kane Linnett, 13 Elliot Minchella. Substitutes: 14 Jez Litten, 16 James Batchelor, 17 Matty Storton, 18 Jimmy Keinhorst
Wigan Warriors: 1 Jai Field, 2 Bevan French, 3 Jake Wardle, 4 Toby King, 5 Liam Marshall, 6 Cade Cust, 7 Harry Smith, 8 Brad Singleton, 9 Sam Powell, 10 Liam Byrne, 11 John Bateman, 12 Liam Farrell, 13 Morgan Smithies. Substitutes: 14 Patrick Mago, 15 Willie Isa, 16 Kai Pearce-Paul, 17 Kaide Ellis.