Super League XIX: Hull KR and Hull FC captains look ahead to new season
Last Updated: 05/02/14 3:47pm
Hull KR skipper Josh Hodgson is hoping that team spirit will help the Robins get off to a flying start when Super League XIX gets underway in earnest next week.
Rovers host Leeds in their opener on February 16 and Hodgson has been impressed with the way a clutch of new boys have taken to life at the club.
Kris Keating, Neville Costigan, Michael Weyman, (the returning) Ben Cockayne, Justin Poore and Jamie Langley all arrived in the off-season as Rovers look to improve on a 2013 which saw them make the play-offs but exit rather tamely in the first round to St Helens.
Hodgson told Sky Sports: "I think we have got a really good team morale at the minute. We have added a few players to the squad and they have alll settled in really well.
Skippers relishing Super League season
"They are a great bunch of blokes and they are also great professionals and that is a massive thing to have in a team.
"You have got to be good at mixing with the lads as well as being good at your game, so I think that has been a good mix on both sides - from a lifestyle point of view and from a rugby point of view."
Now the players just want the waiting to be over and the season to start. Hodgson added: "It is a pretty good feeling in camp. Everyone is just itching to get going really. It has been a tough pre-season and as I say we are all dieing to go."
Across the city hopes are also high, with skipper Gareth Ellis insisting it is about time Hull FC started living up to their status and ambition.
Ellis told Sky Sports: "Hull is a massive club and it has been for a long, long time now and probably underachieved for a number of years.
"All the ingredients are there - it has obviously just not happened on the field yet.
"But there have been glimpses in the past with Challenge Cup victories and a couple of Grand Final appearances, so it is there. It is just a matter of getting that level of consistency right to be able to compete throughout the season."