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Tuesday, July 7

Rugby League news: Hull derby build-up, St Helens injury blow, Toronto’s squad size defended


The key battles

The Hull derby has fast approaching and both sides will be looking to build on strong starts to the Super League campaign.

Hull FC got their season started with an eye-catching win over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley, making a real statement of intent.

Hull KR on the other hand, pulled off an equally impressive result against Wakefield Trinity at Craven Park.

Which way the first Hull derby of the season goes, though, will depend on who wins the key battles across the park. Here, we take a look at some of the more intriguing contests.

Jamie Shaul v Adam Quinlan

Shaul picked up Sky Sports’ man of the match on Sunday after a fabulous display in which he bagged a try and an assist.

The full-back has clearly worked on his ability to get involved in build-up play and he looked an accomplished passer of the ball on Sunday, something he hasn’t always been known for in his career.

In his opposite number, though, Hull know they will have their work cut out stopping Adam Quinlan on Friday.

The diminutive Australian was in fine form in round one, and looked a constant threat with the ball in hand, but he made an even bigger impact defensively with two try-saving tackles.

Jamie Shaul in action for Hull FC against Leeds Rhinos
Jamie Shaul in action for Hull FC against Leeds Rhinos (Image: Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

Danny Houghton v Jez Litten

The apprentice meets the master. Prior to his move to Hull KR last year, Litten had spent his entire career learning from Houghton at the KCOM Stadium.

Litten was hardly used by Lee Radford during his time at Hull and at times could only watch on as Houghton turned in match-winning performances for the Black and Whites, meaning chances were few and far between for the youngster.

Jez Litten of Hull KR runs with the ball
Jez Litten of Hull KR runs with the ball (Image: David Greaves/News Images)

In the absence of Matt Parcell, Litten will be given another chance at hooker and he’ll certainly feel he has something to prove on the west side of the city.

Houghton missed last week’s win over Leeds, but he’s fit enough to be…

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