Super League side could blood in youth to solve spine injury crisis for Challenge Cup

Hull KR have been one of the standout teams in the Super League this year and central to that has been their brilliant spine and it’s creativity.

The Robins now find themselves in a position though where they’re down three of their full-strength spine players with full-back Lachlan Coote, half-back Jordan Abdull and hooker Matt Parcell all set to miss Friday’s fixture against Batley Bulldogs.

Another issue that’s emerged is the illness of recent England debutant Jez Litten who would normally be a perfect replacement for Parcell or Abdull.

Coach Willie Peters has admitted that Litten may not be in contention when speaking about the lack of spine options.

“Jez was ill at the start of the week so we’ve just got to get him through the back end of the week but he’ll be in consideration too in the halves.

“There’s no doubt at the moment that we’ve got some key personnel out but what it does is that it brings opportunity to other people.

“We showed last week and we’ve said all year that it doesn’t matter who wears the jersey but it’s about wearing it the right way and they certainly did that last week.”

Both Coote and Abdull are longer term injuries with monthly to six-week timescales however Parcell failed a HIA against Warrington, whilst another half-back option in Rowan Milnes broke his hand.

That could leave Rovers with a spine of departing Ethan Ryan at full-back, Mikey Lewis and young Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e in the halves with either Litten or a makeshift option at hooker.

Peters was unphased by the squad issues though and spoke up young playmaker PLT, who could make his first Robins’ appearance of the season this Friday.

He played last week for Keighley in the halves and from what I’ve seen and speaking to the coaches, he’s definitely earned the right to be considered this week.

“We’ve got high hopes for him, he’s only at the start of his journey but I’m really big on developing a player and managing them properly to put them in when ready.

“There’s no doubt he’ll get a game this year and it could be this week.”

A final injury concern is that of big forward George King who Peters disclosed had a “tight calf” and could therefore be rested.

That may well open the door for Frankie Halton or Yusuf Aydin.

Rovers play Championship high-flyers Batley at Craven Park with the Bulldogs coming into the game having just beaten Toulouse Olympique.

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