Elliot Minchella's Hull KR bench role explained after eye-catching decision

Willie Peters has explained the rationale behind the decision to name captain Elliot Minchella on the bench for Hull KR's defeat to Catalans Dragons. The England international was deployed from the interchange for the first time in almost 18 months, in what was a notable change to the Rovers line-up.

Ultimately, Peters revealed the move was not only a tactical move but also a case of managing the loose forward's workload. The 28-year-old has played all but one game this season and regularly plays big minutes in the middle of the field. He did the same for England last week in the mid-season international against France.

Under new health guidelines, all players can only play a certain number of minutes during the course of a season, a factor coaches are having to consider as the season goes on. Minchella's recent workload was factored into the decision.

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"We started Elliot from the bench because he's played so many minutes, and obviously last week," Peters said. "So more to help him, and also they're a big middle, so we thought we'd start with three big middles.

"It was something that we spoke about, and with the schedule he's had. In hindsight, was it the right decision? Hopefully long-term it is. But it was just to take him out of that first 20 minutes. What he's been doing is playing the majority of games and if it's tight. he stays on the field. So I wanted to take that out, give someone an opportunity and start better than we did and let Mini do what he does for us."

On the performance, Peters added: "We got beat at the end there, but our first half, we weren't happy with that at all. We had a chat about it at half-time and I was really proud of the way the boys turned it around. We put ourselves in a winning position, and naturally, it hurts the players when they put all that effort in and fall short at the end."