Hull FC will use KR derby to gauge progress ahead of Super League opener
PETER Gentle says tomorrow's derby will tell him how far his Hull FC team has come in pre-season.
Relishing another opportunity to lock horns against Hull KR, Gentle says Hull's only proper pre-season test will give him a good indication of the progress made by his players ahead of their season-opener.
While Hull played Castleford last weekend, Gentle's approach saw him use 29 players, with two separates sides having a chance to get some minutes under their belt.
Set to field a 20-man squad at the KC tomorrow, Gentle's approach is more akin to a Super League encounter.
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"I know there are no points up for grabs, and we wouldn't even use the win for bragging rights, but what's important is this is a chance to test ourselves against a good side," he told the Mail.
"Without taking anything away from Castleford, we can use this game to get an idea of how we are going because it will be much more like a regular season game.
"There will still be some teething problems for us, and no doubt for them too, but it will be very physical, I know that, and I am really looking forward to it."
HULL are expected to hand new signing Paul Johnson his debut after the prop missed out against Castleford with a niggling injury.
Back-rowers Danny Tickle and Liam Kent will not be risked, while Richard Whiting was due to be assessed in the final training session today after being concussed against the Tigers.
ROVERS will hand Craig Hall his first appearance of pre-season, employing him alongside Michael Dobson at stand-off as Travis Burns is suspended.
Rhys Lovegrove returns after missing last week's 32-10 win against a young Wigan side, whilst Keal Carlile, George Griffin and Chris Heil are the least experienced squad members.