PREPARING for the Hull derby is distinctly different for Black and Whites legend Richard Horne this year.
The ex-Great Britain half-back, who played almost 400 games for his hometown club, relished playing fierce rivals Hull KR just like anyone in the same position.
But, ahead of tomorrow’s latest offering of the famous derby, his emotions are different.
Horne, of course, is now one of Lee Radford’s assistant coaches, having retired from playing at the end of last season.
“It’s going okay,” he said. “We’re doing really well, sat third in the (Under) 19s league and I am enjoying it.
“It’s different from playing –being on the other side of things – and actually getting used to it from being a player to being a coach. I’m learning the techniques behind everything and it’s going well.
“It’s longer work hours. They are crazy. I thought I’d be getting my weekends back but that hasn’t been the case. I’m forever cutting videos and planning sessions.”
Horne does not turn 33 until July and his replacement in Hull colours – former Lions team-mate Leon Pryce – is a year older.
Are there any regrets at finishing playing relatively early?
“When you decide to hang up your boots you’re always keen and thinking, ‘Can I go again?’” added Horne. “You always miss the playing side. But it was the right decision for me and I’m just enjoying the next chapter in my life.”
He featured in some classic contests with Hull KR at Magic Weekend, whether in Cardiff, Edinburgh or Manchester.
Ahead of the game at Newcastle’s St James’ Stadium, Horne added: “Derbies are always great occasions and this venue we’ve got for Saturday is a great opportunity for the lads to play at and experience a new atmosphere.
“With Magic, no matter what or how you win, as long as you win, they are always good. For me, the most controversial one was Chris Green (the Hull prop’s blatantly offside try to edge victory in 2013).
“That was a pretty good one, but they (Rovers) seem to have a good record against us when it comes to Magic Weekend.”
Indeed, that infamous win two years ago when video referee Steve Ganson made such an embarrassing error is Hull’s solitary victory at the event against Hull KR with their bitter rivals winning all other five such meetings.