Amid Hull KR being linked with full-back Rhys Hanbury ahead of the 2019 season, it’s imperative that the Robins sign a full-back for next year.
Rovers lost a key cog in their machine when Adam Quinlan went down in the Qualifiers with an ACL injury which may even cost him all of next season.
There is hope that Quinlan will return before the end of the year but KR should not be hanging on to that, they must recruit a strong player who can be influential at the Super League level.
Will Dagger, at 19, has the potential, and the likes of Craig Hall could do a great job, adds to the squad and should be tied down long-term – but KR still need that specialist full-back.
All the best teams in rugby league have an attacking full-back who can make a difference. The role has developed over the years and become even more important.
The main issue is since splitting half-backs to either side of the field has become a thing, a full-back has essentially become the old stand-off linking in between and creating plays on the edges.
Quinlan has been pivotal in KR’s big wins of the season and they need someone who can make a similar impact next year in his place. It’s a purely specialist position now and if they can find quality, they should go and get it.
What Rovers have to be careful of is they have to sign a full-back who only wants a one-year deal. Quinlan is KR’s long-term full-back until the end of 2020 and there aren’t many top players who will want to come in just for 12 months.
Hanbury might be the ideal scenario. Twelve months back in Super League gives him the chance to put himself in the shop window. You’d think he’d jump at that chance aged 33.
He ticks a few boxes for Rovers. He’s a specialist full-back with quality and he probably would come short-term, which is one of the main things.
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