Hull KR and Hull FC face off in what promises to be the most hotly-contested derby of 2018’s Magic Weekend.
Hull KR will be without key men Danny McGuire and Shaun Lunt, who are both ruled out through injury. However, back-rowers Ben Kavanagh and Chris Clarkson return from injury.
Winger Kieren Moss and hooker Aaron Smith also come into the 19, while Robbie Mulhern, Matty Marsh, Will Dagger and Owen Harrison miss out.
Adam Quinlan, who has been one of Rovers’ biggest threats this year, is fit to face their cross-city rivals and will have a crucial part to play if Rovers are going to win this one.
Hull KR 19-man squad: Quinlan, Vaivai, Shaw, Masoe, Blair, Greenwood, Kavanagh, Donaldson, Clarkson, Lee, Salter, Johnson, Atkin, Moss, Walne, Cator, Tickle, Wallis, Smith
Hull FC are also missing crucial team members, in Marc Sneyd and ex-KR man Albert Kelly.
Club legend Kirk Yeaman has come out of retirement to face his boyhood club. Yeaman made 374 appearances for the club and initially retired at the end of the 2016 season.
The West Hull side also have new signing Liam Harris available. Harris, 21, signed from Doncaster on a two-and-a-half year contract; having spent time with the Black and Whites in pre-season.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Griffin, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Minichiello, Connor, Green, Washbrook, Manu, Litten, Paea, Logan, Miloudi, Matongo, Scott, Westerman, Yeaman, Harris
HEAD TO HEAD
Rovers couldn’t beat Hull when they last met in late March, despite the Black and Whites being reduced to 10 men for much of the game. KR have lost their last three matches, and haven’t won a derby in three years, with FC running out winners usually rather comfortably; on the scoreboard at least.
Every battle between the sides is full-throttle and start at break-neck speed. This is something that Hull KR will want to continue as they try to inflict more misery on a depleted Hull FC side.
KEY BATTLE- Junior Vaivai (KR) v Josh Griffin (FC)
During Friday’s training session, Junior Vaivai was overheard saying: “I don’t want to lose my first one.” Understanding the critical importance of the Hull Derby despite only being in the city for less than two months, the USA international is desperate to secure a first cross-city win in over three years for his new club.
Standing in his way is Hull’s talented Centre Josh Griffin. After a rocky start, Griffin is becoming a revelation at the KCOM Stadium and is becoming their go-to man in attack.
Stop Griffin and you stop Hull? Not quite, but Rovers need to nullify the threat from the former Salford man if they want to be victorious come Sunday tea-time.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Venue: St. James’ Park
Referee: B. Thaler
WHO WILL WIN?