FITTINGLY, given the game is at his former club Catalans Dragons, Hull KR’s France international Kevin Larroyer will today make his first Super League appearance in 10 months.
The second-row, who has not featured with Rovers since their Qualifiers win over Salford in September, is fit again after major shoulder surgery and ready to start 2016 in earnest.
Larroyer, 26, made a comeback on dual-registration with Newcastle Thunder last week and, given KR’s ongoing injury problems, his availability now once more for head coach James Webster is certainly welcomed.
“It’s good to have Kevin back and he can be sure of a run,” said Webster, about a talented player who signed a three-year deal last September having spent the previous two seasons on loan from Catalans.
“He’s only had 80 minutes in the lower leagues but he’ll definitely help us out this week.
“He’s a good player. It was a big move for the kid leaving France to give it a shot over here but he worked really hard and I’m glad it paid off for him.
“He needed to consistently play when leaving Catalans and he got that here.
“We’ll have to be patient with him in the next couple of weeks but in a month I’m sure he’ll be a lot better.”
Rovers have chartered a plane to fly direct to Perpignan this morning and back out again tonight in order to give them as much recovery time as possible from Sunday’s derby loss versus Hull FC.
It also, of course, gives them extra preparation time for Thursday’s trip to Wakefield Trinity as they look to start picking up the wins that could still force them into the top eight.
Tonight’s fixture will be tough – Catalans have been one of Super League’s finest teams this year but will be smarting after narrowly losing 25-24 to Wakefield at Magic.
Furthermore, Rovers have opted to leave captain Terry Campese at home to protect his fitness while Graeme Horne (ankle), Thomas Minns (concussion) and Mitch Allgood (suspended) also drop out of the side that lost 28-16 in Newcastle.
But Webster – eager for his side to atone after an embarrassing 40-0 home defeat to Catalans in April – added: “We’re going there to win.
“We understand we probably need to win five of our last seven games to get in the eight.
“Last season 20 points was enough to do that and, this time, I think 19 will do it. We’ve seven big games before that cut-off point.”