THE chance to work with the legendary Danny McGuire and the “clinging” feeling of his home city are just two of the reasons Jordan Abdull is relishing being back at Hull KR.
The talented stand-off has returned to East Yorkshire after coming-of-age with London Broncos this year.
Abdull, 23, left Hull FC 12 months ago to join the promoted Super League club and, although he could not help keep them in the top flight, did contribute to make Danny Ward’s side one of the stories of the season.
Granted, London were eventually relegated but only after a tension-packed final night, having picking up a record-breaking 10 victories and won so many fans along the way.
“I took the plunge and left Hull early with a year still left on my contract and it was probably a big gamble on my part as I wasn’t really a proven Super League player,” recalled Abdull, who is well into pre-season training with arch-rivals Rovers.
“I’d racked up a few games at Hull but most of it was in and out, in and out. It did pay off, though. As much as it was disappointing for London to go down, the way they went down it was probably a positive that we took it right to the last game. I’d like to be known as someone who played a big part keeping them in the dogfight right up until the end.
“I really enjoyed my time in London but there’s no place like home. Anyone who’s lived in Hull knows it’s got that clinging feeling to it where people just don’t want to leave.
“I don’t know what it is because not a lot goes on here but people just seem to love it.”
Abdull has played for the Robins before, helping them earn promotion from the Championship when on a season-long loan from FC in 2017.
But the skilful left-footer is back on a two-year deal, looking to fill the considerable void left by McGuire.
The former Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain star retired at the end of the season but has remained at Rovers as their new head of recruitment and will also help coach the club’s half-backs.
Abdull said: “He’s been around training a couple of times and pulls us aside to give us some pointers. As the year goes on and the more we’re building up to games, I think the more he will do more. Pre-season at the moment is just all about running and getting your set-plays in place and everyone just getting to know everyone.
“It’s great that he – probably Super League’s most prestigious stand-off over the last decade – is still around the club, especially for me being a young lad and the other youngsters coming through trying to establish themselves. Closer to the games I’m sure he’ll have some meetings with us and get a couple of goals set for each and every half-back.”
Rovers, of course, were almost relegated themselves, losing to Abdull’s London on the penultimate week and only stayed up on points difference.
But Tony Smith has revamped the squad and Abdull likes the coach’s “philosophies” put in place for 2020. On his own targets, he said: “To play for a Hull team, the pressure comes.
“You have big audiences every single week and if you’re not performing you know about it pretty early.
“I just want to continue the form I had at London when the pressure was a little bit off and I could just relax and play good rugby. That’s my mindset.”