Super League: Hull KR v Leeds Rhinos preview
Last Updated: 15/02/14 2:54pm
Hull KR are guaranteed a record attendance at their newly-renamed KC Lightstream Stadium for the visit of Super League giants Leeds on Sunday.
Their Super League opener will beat their previous high of 10,250, which came against city rivals Hull FC in a 17-10 win back in June 2011.
Rovers and the Rhinos split the contests last season with Leeds running out 44-10 winners in East Yorkshire, only for their opponents to exact revenge in August at Headingley with a 16-12 success.
KR coach Craig Sandercock will give debuts to Neville Costigan, Kris Keating, Jamie Langley, Kevin Larroyer, Justin Poore, Jonny Walker and Michael Weyman, while winger Ben Cockayne starts his second stint with the club.
Centre Sean Gleeson and forward Jason Netherington are sidelined through injury and Craig Hall stands by in case stand-off Travis Burns fails to recover in time from shoulder surgery.
"We have quite a lot of depth this year and it was a difficult decision selecting who plays in a couple of positions," Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail.
Tough to pick
"The bench was tough to pick too, especially working out the best way to play Leeds. Leeds have a good big side and we need to be sensible as to who we pick."
Leeds will give debuts to hooker Paul Aiton and England winger Tom Briscoe, while prop forward Ryan Bailey has overcome an injury picked up in his testimonial game a fortnight ago.
Loose forward Stevie Ward, who missed the last five months of the previous season with a shoulder injury, is set to make his comeback, ironically in the fixture which curtailed his 2013 campaign.
The Rhinos missed out on last season's Grand Final and while the club have enjoyed a productive pre-season coach Brian McDermott knows the hard work starts now.
"A wise old man once said to me, 'You don't win anything in pre-season, but if you don't do it properly you won't win anything', and that is true," said a philosophical McDermott.
"We've worked hard and we have done everything that we needed to do but we need to get started and get some momentum going first before we get really excited."
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Cockayne, Costigan, Eden, Green, Hall, D. Hodgson, J. Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Poore, Salter, A. Walker, J. Walker, Welham, Weyman.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Clarkson, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton.