After a sensational season in 2021 Jordan Abdull was ready to kick on with Hull KR in 2022.
He was nominated for the Man of Steel in 2021 and helped the Robins get all the way to the Super League semi-finals.
However, like plenty of his teammates, Abdull was struck by a cruel injury blow which also ended his hopes of playing for England in the Rugby League World Cup.
He has wrongs to right in 2023 as do his team after a disappointing 8th finish in 2022.
However, their preparations for 2023 didn’t get off to the best start as they lost 28-0 to Featherstone Rovers and talking to BBC Humberside, Abdull labelled the Robins as “clunky” in the defeat:
“We looked clunky and the most disappointing thing wasn’t the result but the manner of the defeat. We had quite a brutal meeting the next morning talking about how we got beat in the effort areas which is something we’d been working on all pre-season. To turn up with the wrong attitude and get beaten in those areas was disappointing.”
However, he has plenty of confidence in the academy players who feature after many made their Super League debuts in 2023: “It probably started from the back-end of last year when Zack (fishwick) and Connor (Moore) played Super League and some of the others made their debuts last week. it’s pleasing and shows the hard work of the academy coaching staff and also what McGuire and Willie Peters are trying to do, the future’s bright and they didn’t let us down when they came on. If anything some of them probably played better than the senior players.”
One in particular has caught the eye in Phoenix Laula-Togaga’e
The youngster who can play anywhere in the spine signed an extended deal recently and Abdull likened him to one of Super League’s best players: Wigan Warriors star Jai Field
“I think he’d be dangerous if he played in the halves,” Abdull said of PLT, “He reminds me a little bit of when Jai Field goes into the halves at Wigan with his speed off the ball. He’d scare defences with the attributes that he’s got. My role is to be the organising half and stick to the gameplan and allow people like Phoenix and Mikey Lewis can play what they see, giving those exciting talents all the opportunities they can get in a game.”
As he battles against injury he said: “I’ve got more confidence now I’ve got through the game, I’ve done three months of pre-season but you can never replicate a game. I’ll be looking to kick on in two weeks when we play against Leeds Rhinos.”
As he looks to change his injury luck in 2023 he opened up on the wider change at the club too as well as the calibre of the young Robins squad in 2023: “It’s exciting and refreshing, every other month there seems to be something new off the field and behind the scenes. As a player it’s exciting to be a part of. We know how the club have purchased the stadium and want to develop and make it more of a complex. It’s exciting to be a part of this club.
“There’s quite a lot of young players, Louis Senior is still young in his Super League career but you saw how good he was at the World Cup and he was probably Ireland’s best player throughout. Jesse Sue brings experience, he’s probably going to be the leader of our pack and then you’ve got Tom Opacic who is coming over in his prime. He could easily have stayed in the NRL for another four or five years but he’s come in his prime and it’s a good bit of business by Willie, it is exciting for players to come and play for this club now.”