01 August 2023

Willie Peters to spare star Hull KR players against Wigan with cup final in mind

01 August 2023

Hull KR coach Willie Peters will spare his star men the prospect of facing a potentially-vengeful Wigan on Friday night with their Wembley Challenge Cup final date fast approaching.

Peters plans to field a virtually-unrecognisable line-up for their Betfred Super League clash at the DW Stadium, including three players he has brought in this week on short-term loan deals plus three academy graduates who will make their first-team debuts.

Rovers edged Matt Peet’s men in a semi-final thriller at Headingley less than two weeks ago and despite their desire to cement a play-off spot, Peters is making no apologies for refusing to take risks with his already injury-hit squad.

“Obviously it’s a very important game this week but it’s a very important game next week too,” said Peters. “We will be going there with a team that is going to compete but we’ve got to be smart as well.

“If we have a team that goes out and competes from one minute to 80, I’ll be a proud coach. I think this is a game that we can hopefully go and make our fans proud of us, that a young team has gone over to Wigan and given their all.”

Rovers face Leigh at Wembley on August 12 where they will hunt their first Challenge Cup victory since their only previous triumph over city rivals Hull FC in 1980.

Peters confirmed the respective signings of Catalans half-back Cesar Rouge, Wakefield prop Isaac Shaw and Warrington forward Luke Thomas, all on two-week loan deals.

In addition, academy players Leo Tennison, Louix Gorman and Lennie Ellis will make the first team for the first time.

Peters is still hopeful that Tom Opacic, Eliot Minchella and Ethan Ryan will all recover from their current injuries in time for the Challenge Cup final a week on Saturday, but Jordan Abdull will definitely miss the Wembley date.

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