Hull KR’s Elliot Minchella makes injury return with Dewsbury Rams

HULL KR vice-captain Elliot Minchella is “excited” to be making his long-awaited return to action with Dewsbury Rams against former club Sheffield Eagles.

The loose forward has been sidelined since rupturing his ACL against St Helens last April but will start regaining match fitness in Sunday’s Betfred Championship game at Tetley’s Stadium.

Minchella, 26, has joined KR’s dual-registration partners and faces a club with whom he scored 21 tries in 56 games over 2016 and 2017.

“I’m just excited to play again,” he said.

“I’ve not been able to do that for almost a year – and with Dewsbury, against Sheffield, one of my old teams, I am looking forward to that.

“It’ll be good to see Mark Aston and Keith Senior again and a lot of their players I used to play with at Bradford Bulls.”

Leeds-born Minchella joined KR in 2020 after an impressive two-year stint with hometown Bradford alongside current Sheffield players such as Ross Oakes, Vila Halafihi and Liam Kirk.

He added: “It’s funny how it turned out. I actually went to watch Bradford v Sheffield at the weekend with a mate, not knowing I’d be playing against them this Sunday.

Hull Kingston Rovers' Elliot Minchella in action back in 2020 ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“There was about eight ex-Bradford players in there so it will be good.”

KR start their Super League campaign against Wigan Warriors tomorrow but coach Tony Smith wants Minchella to get some minutes under his belt.

“I just need to get that rustiness out of me – I’m bound to have some – and just get tackled again and make some tackles to see how it goes,” he said.

“Before Elliot gets a chance to show his wares in Super League, it’s probably the best way for him to get some match fitness and also help bolster Dewsbury’s team. It’s just part of the relationship that we’re kicking off.

Hull KR's Elliot Minchella (Picture:

“It’s great to have this sort of situation; albeit we don’t have a reserve grade game this week, it’s another great avenue for Elliot to get a game under his belt before he resumes playing with the first team.”