Absence makes the heart grow fonder as patient Scruton gets his Hull derby wish

IT has taken much longer than expected but Nick Scruton can now finally pull on Hull Kingston Rovers' jersey in the city's famous derby.

The experienced prop knows plenty about local rivalries having played on both sides of the traditional Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls battle while also representing Wakefield Trinity against Castleford Tigers.

But one of the reasons Scruton agreed to leave Wakefield for Hull KR at the end of 2016 was to feature in this Super League derby – only to see his hopes then scuppered due to the Robins’ relegation to the Championship.

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He stuck to his part of the deal, though, and helped them back into the top-flight at the first attempt with one of his rewards the chance to at last experience the derby when the great foes meet at KCOM Craven Park tomorrow lunchtime.

Hull KR's Nick Scruton.

Scruton, 33, said: “It’s been 18 months in the making. I sat down with (Hull KR football manager) Jamie Peacock and he tried to sell the club to me. This was one of the big selling points for me.

“Obviously at my age I knew I didn’t have many years left and I thought to get this Hull derby would be a nice way to see out my career these last couple of years.

“I think having a year out of it has really added to the occasion.

“Today’s the first time it’s really sunk in how important it is to everybody; our kitman’s bouncing around, the chef and people who help with dinner are asking how we all feel and are we ready for this one? We are.”

Hull KR's Nick Scruton.

Scruton returns from injury as does captain Shaun Lunt and Lee Jewitt, Danny McGuire (concussion) faces a fitness test but Robbie Mulhern, George Lawler and Andrew Heffernan are out. Hull have captain Danny Houghton and Mickey Paea back.