Hull KR's elder statesman Ryan O'Hara taking more prominent role
RYAN O'Hara intends to put his status as Hull KR's elder statesman to good use by forming a stronger bond off the pitch with the team's middlemen.
The 32-year-old is taking his role as the club's oldest player seriously by arranging weekly meetings with the men who are expected to lay the platform for the rest of the side on a consistent basis.
As one of the Robins' veteran props, O'Hara wants to strengthen the area he feels let Craig Sandercock's side down in 2012.
"We got beat up in the middle a few too many times last season," he told the Mail.
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"Craig has given me that responsibility and I'm looking forward to working on that.
"I want to meet up with the other props, our hooker and loose-forwards to discuss how we can do that on a regular basis.
"We have an important role to play in the team and I want those involved to know that.
"It's often a thankless task doing the hard graft in the middle but the coaches can see the work being done.
"It's all about attitude and effort. If I can get a little bit more out of the players, that should make a big difference to our results next season."
O'Hara is one of three players over 30 at MS3 Craven Park, alongside Lincoln Withers and Dave Hodgson, and he is embracing his role as the team's senior citizen.
With a mix of youth and experience in their squad for 2013, he is desperate for Rovers to return to the play-offs.
"There may not be too many of us over 30," O'Hara said. "But there are a few players like Michael Dobson, Kris Welham, Cory Paterson and Travis Burns who have been around a bit.
"The younger kids are pushing for spots and that makes for a good mix.
"They are keen to learn and their enthusiasm is good.
"We have all returned to pre-season training in good nick.
"We had a tough first week and this week is all about the fitness tests."
O'Hara admits this is the most excited he has felt about a pre-season in a long time.
With two more years to run on his current deal, the former State of Origin forward is confident he can still sign off on a high.
"I've still not won anything in my career and time is ticking away for me," he added.
"But I'm very excited about the season ahead.
"Last season was a kick in the guts for us, but we will work hard to put it right.
"I want to play for as long as I can, but I'll have to see how the body is after the next two seasons."