Decision over Newton to be made as late as possible

JUSTIN MORGAN says he will not play star Clint Newton in the Hull derby unless he is 100 per cent fit.

The Hull KR coach has been without the influential second-row for the last seven weeks but the Australian is in the 19-man squad for tomorrow’s game at Craven Park.

The return of Newton would serve as a massive boost to the Robins, who were vanquished 40-6 at Wigan on Bank Holiday Monday and also lost at Hull FC 36-18 on Good Friday without him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, Morgan, who is expected to make a decision this morning, will not rush the 29-year-old.

“It’s going to be tight but I got some very encouraging signs early in the week,” he said.

“He’s obviously going to be a little bit underdone in terms of condition but he’s been keeping himself in great shape.

“He’s the model professional and is desperate to play. But if there’s any inkling that he’s not 100 per cent then we won’t play him because it’ll be a very intense match.”

Hull are seeking a Super League double over their city rivals to stretch further ahead of 10th-placed Rovers who are outside of the play-off spots following an indifferent campaign.

Morgan sees tomorrow’s fixture as crucial but not only because of the customary bragging rights.

“It’s a big game but it’s probably more important to our season than it is that we have to get one over our rivals,” he added.

“We’ve still got aspirations to make the top eight and I said a few weeks ago that we have to beat the teams in and around us on the table and they’re a couple of places ahead of us.

“I’ve said before that I’ve got a huge recognition of what it means to the fans and it means just as much to the players.

“It’s a big match but as you get closer and closer to the end of the season they all become bigger.”

Rovers will field Craig Hall as a replacement for centre Jake Webster who, like prop Joel Clinton, is likely to be missing for at least a month with a shoulder injury.

Huddersfield Giants relocate at Halifax’s Shay Stadium tomorrow for the first of three games while their own Galpharm pitch is re-laid.

Halifax-born England hooker Luke Robinson makes his 100th appearance for Giants against Castleford.

“It is a bit ironic the milestone will be in Halifax, just down the road from where I used to play my amateur rugby (Siddal),” he said.

“It obviously makes it a bit more special. Even though it is my 100th game, it is more important that we pick up the win and another two points. I won’t be thinking about it too much when I’m out there, more about helping the team.”

Bradford Bulls’ Paul Sykes returns to play his 250th career game as they face his former club Harlequins in London this afternoon.