Hull Kingston Rovers have announced that Shaun Kenny-Dowall will lead the club as captain, and Elliot Minchella as vice-captain for the 2021 campaign.
Both players joined ahead of 2020 and were almost ever-present throughout. Kenny-Dowall took up the leadership role in the absence of Mose Masoe and Weller Hauraki thanks to his vast experience and vocal nature on the field and will continue to do so as the club captain.
Minchella, Rovers’ new vice-captain, impressed upon his return to Super League with an outstanding season, earning the respect of his peers, picking up the Player’s Player Award. The 24-year-old will be looking to further develop his skills with an eye on his long-term development as a future leader of the team.
Tony Smith is thrilled with his appointments, speaking in his interview with KRTV: “Elliot Minchella has accepted our offer to be vice-captain and we are delighted. It’s a reward for how he has approached his time here and I think it is a show of respect for what he has earnt. That role is also a case of Elliot being shaped into his future as well.
“He’s a big part of developing young people and young men. We don’t see it as just a case of the older players being captains. I think young people could be great leaders, it isn’t just down to experience, it’s down to how you handle yourself and how you can encourage each other to become better – he certainly leads the way in that respect.
“The other thing that really stands out about Elliot is that he is prepared to say what he thinks. He’ll give an opinion and ask questions. He’s not worried about what other people might think about him asking that question or making that comment. I think that’s great leadership to the younger people behind him.
Speaking on the appointment of Kenny-Dowall, Smith said: “We have asked Shaun to be our club-captain this year. It’s a pretty obvious choice within the way he leads us and the respect he earnt from all of us throughout the whole club. That’s not just about what he’s done prior in his career and even last year, it’s just the manner in which he conducts and applies himself, along with the amount of effort that he puts in.
“By his own admittance, he would have like to have played better last year, but it wasn’t through a lack of effort. I’ve had good conversations with him about it often that some overseas players struggle in their first year and don’t hit the heights that they would like to or have before. They often settle into that second season and become more solid.
“I’ll also say to anybody out there that when asked about the pressure of captaincy on top of performing, he said that ‘there’s pressure anyway’. He is the right person to be our leader and he was happy to put his hand up and accept that, and he is very honoured. We’re all hoping that we will see the best of him. We certainly see it in the way that he leads us on and off the field since he has been here. He is very proud and we are very pleased that he has accepted that.”
If starting, the duo will lead the side out on Sunday afternoon as Tony Smith’s men host Castleford Tigers in Adam Milner’s Testimonial at Hull College Craven Park.