Hull KR winger Ryan Hall winning fitness battle as Danny McGuire defends pre-Wembley selection

Hull KR winger Ryan Hall remains on course to be fit for the Challenge Cup final against Leigh Leopards after returning to field training on Monday.

The 35-year-old picked up a calf injury in the golden-point win over Leeds Rhinos on July 14 and aggravated the issue in the warm-up ahead of the semi-final against Wigan Warriors the following week.

After being left with three weeks to recover in time for Saturday's Wembley showdown with Leigh, Hall is winning his fitness battle.

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Rovers assistant coach Danny McGuire said: "He's ticking all his boxes.

"He ran on the field today and I'd be expecting him to get a decent portion of the session done on Wednesday, which is our biggest day when we work on structure stuff. He'll be part of most of that.

"Anyone who knows Hally knows he's a bit of a freak regarding recovery. With a six-week injury, he's back in three weeks.

"The physio and support staff have done a good job with him. Everyone is pretty confident he'll play.

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"My gut feel is that he's good. I've seen him running today and as long as he pulls up fine and we get a decent day out of him on Wednesday, I'll be very, very surprised if he doesn't play."

Ryan Hall is winning his fitness battle. (Photo: Paul Currie/ Hall is winning his fitness battle. (Photo: Paul Currie/
Ryan Hall is winning his fitness battle. (Photo: Paul Currie/

Hall won the Challenge Cup twice during his time with Leeds and featured in six victorious Super League Grand Final teams, while he is England's all-time record tryscorer.

McGuire says Hall's knowhow will be invaluable for the Robins on the big stage.

"He's still doing Ryan Hall things at 35," added his former Rhinos team-mate McGuire. "He's still strong out of backfield and can still finish.

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"He's a really key player for us and that experience of playing in big games, playing for his country is massive when you've got a relatively inexperienced team. His experience is key for us."

Danny McGuire, left, celebrates the semi-final win over Wigan. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/ McGuire, left, celebrates the semi-final win over Wigan. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/
Danny McGuire, left, celebrates the semi-final win over Wigan. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/

Rovers have been criticised for resting 13 players for their final game before Wembley at Wigan, in contrast to Leigh who named their strongest available team.

McGuire, who was standing in for an ill Willie Peters at Monday's press conference, admits the Robins must deliver this weekend after effectively sacrificing two Super League points.

"It was a tough decision," said McGuire. "We debated in the coaches’ office a fair bit.

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"We've put ourselves in a really nice position in the league. We didn't want to disrespect the competition but felt we had players that had played a lot of games and had niggles that would benefit from a rest.

"We also saw it as an opportunity to give some of our fringe players and young players an opportunity to play against a really good Wigan team. We kind of put ourselves in a position to do that.

"Everyone had varying views on it but ultimately we all decided with Willie as the boss and decision maker that was how we'd approach things.

"The way the lads bounced into training this morning says to me that they're in a really good place.

"It's all about the performance on the day. We need to turn up, play well and make the decision the coaches came to the right one."

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