Hull KR chief on player recruitment and Danny McGuire’s new role

Hull KR chief executive Paul Lakin says he will prioritise player recruitment following his return to the club.   

Lakin has spent the last 12 years in the Football League, working six years apiece for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City.

After a turbulent season in a difficult climate, Lakin is looking to steady the ship at Rovers and his first aim is to improve things on the pitch.

“Recruitment is our number one priority,” he said. “We are currently in November, which is a key time.

“We are not looking to recruit seven, eight or nine players like the club has historically done perhaps, over the past few years.

“We are concentrating on the money that we have got to spend.

“Off the field, I need to get to understand who I am working with.

“Also, for all clubs at the moment, not just rugby league but also football and everybody, supporters’ memberships are really important.

“I could make tens of thousands from a major marketing campaign but it would not be as effective as looking to sign the right players so that is the most important priority for us.

“If you look at the academy lads and people coming through like Mikey Lewis, Will Tate, Jez Litten, Will Dagger, we have some real longevity in the players in years to come.

“We absolutely have to compliment in the younger players, with a bit of quality.

“We know we have struggled in the forwards this year and that needs addressing.”

The Robins finished bottom of Super League for the first time in their history this season, but they will remain in the top flight after Toronto Wolfpack withdrew from the competition in July.

They have already started to shape things for next season with a few key signings, as well as releasing 11 players to ease the wage bill.

It’s not just the playing staff that has changed with Super League’s all-time top try-scorer Danny McGuire stepping in to become assistant coach to Tony Smith.

Commenting on the change and McGuire’s arrival into the coaching setup, Lakin added: “Danny is coming in to replace Willie (Poching) so there will be two assistant coaches with David Hodgson and Danny.

“Danny has shown a real interest and such a sharp brain for coaching. I have been so impressed with him.

“He is one of the great players and that does not necessarily mean you will be a great coach but after all the conversations I have had with him, he has a sharp brain and I think he will be huge asset for us.

“Tony (Smith) and Danny know each other very well too. Danny is passionate and has enthusiasm and has incredible experience and knowledge.

“When you look at our halves, they are young lads and there is no greater coach to work with such players than Danny McGuire.

“He will retain his role with recruitment, something he is working full-time on at the moment in what is a critical few weeks on the recruitment side.

“He will be huge asset. He is constantly WhatsApp messaging myself and Tony his thoughts and ideas and I am really looking forward to working with him.”

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