Matty Beharrell has chance to claim Hull KR spot in Gateshead friendly
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock will send a youthful squad to Gateshead for their first pre-season friendly on Sunday.
Sandercock wants his emerging stars to make the most of the opportunity to impress ahead of the new Super League campaign.
And top of the 42-year-old's priority list for pre-season is identifying a stand-in for Travis Burns, who will miss the first four games of the season through suspension.
Sunday's opening friendly will see local lad Matty Beharrell given his chance to stake a claim for the stand-off role, having impressed on their recent warm-weather camp in Tenerife.
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"We'll take a mixed squad to Gateshead and a lot of our younger players will get a run out," Sandercock told the Mail.
"I'll give them every opportunity to impress me and earn a spot again for the friendly against Wigan the week after.
"Matty has trained well and will get a chance, and we will look at a number of different things during the friendlies.
"The team unity has impressed me a lot so far.
"Everybody is training hard and the players can see there are a lot of opportunities there for them.
"They are all doing the right things in training."
Competition for places within the Rovers squad is as strong as it has ever been in their days in Super League.
It may be a younger squad than last year, but everyone has an equal chance of playing regularly.
Who plays on the wing is one question that will cause Sandercock a few selection headaches especially with the form shown by new signings Omari Caro and Alex Brown.
"The young recruits have settled in really well," Sandercock said.
"Alex and Omari have both moved to Hull which is very pleasing. They are learning every day especially Alex as he hasn't come from a full-time environment.
"All I can ask is that they train hard and learn."
Keal Carlile is another who could feature against Gateshead.
He is keen to show he can start the season as first-choice hooker.
He feels he is ready and Sandercock admits it has been difficult for the former Huddersfield Giant to feature ahead of Josh Hodgson and Lincoln Withers.
"It's been hard for Keal in his position," Sandercock said.
"He has two first-class hookers ahead of him.
"If Keal plays well, he will be given his opportunity."