Hull Kingston Rovers’ new half-back star Tyrone May says he’s looking to add a winning edge to the Robins squad as they aim to back up a stellar 2023 with some silverware in 2024.
May was part of the Catalans Dragons side which reached the Betfred Super League Grand Final in October having missed out on the League Leaders’ Shield on points difference behind Wigan Warriors, while Willie Peters’ troops were Betfred Challenge Cup finalists and Super League semi-finalists in a campaign which really showed their potential.
And as Rovers look to buck a trend which has previously seen them drop away after promising seasons, May believes his experiences under Steve McNamara in the south of France will help him to take KR closer to glory in the months ahead.
“The last couple of years the Catalans have shown consistency with their results and where they’ve finished in the table, and I think KR are there or thereabouts,” May tells Betfred. “If I can bring that edge over here and take the club to the next step, that’s the aim.
“It’s always good to work under new people and get out of your comfort zone, and obviously I had a good couple of years under Stevie Mac but him and Willie are different. I’m looking forward to the new challenge with Willie, I know he’s got high expectations of me and the club and hopefully we can take them on.”
Fellow new recruit Peta Hiku has joined from the North Queensland Cowboys having seen what a united outfit Rovers were in 2023. Having initially been contacted by head coach Peters, the New Zealand international utility back liked what he saw from the Robins.
“The way they were last year, they competed on everything; they were a team that just looked like they were never giving up,” says the 31-year-old, who is likely to slot in at full-back following Lachlan Coote’s retirement. “When Willie gave me a call I started watching their games and they looked like a team that just wanted to work hard for each other. That helped me with my decision coming here and I’m very excited to play alongside these boys.
“You can see what kind of footy Willie’s driving at the club. He’s looking for the little effort areas, not really the big plays. When you do all the little things right, all the big things come later on, and that’s something he’s driving as a team and in the time we’ve been training together you can see everybody buying in to what he wants.”
Livewire half-back Mikey Lewis was key to Rovers’ huge improvement last season, to the extent that he gained his international debut in England’s Test series win against Tonga in the autumn. But the 22-year-old is refusing to rest on the successes of the last 12 months.
“Outside noise can easily distract you and you’ve just got to do what you do best and keep getting better every week because that’s what you aim for as a player, to be one of the best,” says Lewis, who has been handed Rovers’ prized number seven jersey for the season ahead following Jordan Abdull’s loan departure. “You can go on about last year, and it was a really good year for me, I can’t lie, but this year hopefully I can go one better and have more consistency.”
Rovers begin their 2024 season with the huge local derby clash against Hull FC at the MKM Stadium on Thursday, February 15. Kick-off is at 20:00 GMT.
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