Milestone derby as Dobson targets Old Trafford exit

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Departing Hull KR captain Michael Dobson admits the thrill of the Hull derby is one of the things he will miss most about life in England.

The classy Australian scrum-half makes his 150th appearance for the East Yorkshire club when they face Hull FC at MS3 Craven Park tomorrow.

After more than five years of sterling service, however, he will leave at the end of the season to return to the NRL with Newcastle Knights in 2014.

Talking to the Yorkshire Post, Dobson conceded: “It’s going to be hard when I do go back to miss out on these games.

“These derbies are just the biggest matches of the season.

“I’m excited to be playing in what I know could be my last derby on Sunday.

“To play it at home, though, in front of our fans is going to be a great occasion.”

One of the hallmarks of Dobson’s game, however, since joining from Canberra Raiders in 2008 has not only been his peerless kicking and creative quality but selfless attitude.

It will matter little to him that this is likely to be his last taste of the famous city rivalry.

He simply wants the two points that will nudge them closer to a top-five finish.

Rovers’ excellent progress has been slowed recently, their five-match winning run emphatically ended at Warrington before a controversial try from Josh Charnley denied them potential victory at Wigan last Friday.

“We’ve a little bit of improvement we need to work on to get a win this week but we’re confident,” said Dobson, who would love to sign off with an Old Trafford appearance.

“It’d be great to do that but there’s a long way to go between now and then.

“We’ve got to cement our place in the play-offs and start with Hull first but if we play with a bit more discipline than in the last two weeks we can win this.”

Rovers have made two changes, George Griffin and Omari Caro coming in for injured Hull FC-bound prop Mickey Paea (knee) and the banned Lincoln Withers.

Front-row Andy Lynch has only missed one game in all his two seasons at Hull, crucially the Good Friday derby through illness. However, he sits out another tomorrow with a slight knock but the ex-Bradford Bulls captain – linked with a move back to Castleford – is not in doubt for Wembley. Paul Johnson replaces him.