Written by Callum Walker
Prior to September 2020, Mikey Lewis had played just twice for Hull KR – once in 2019 and once in the Challenge Cup in March 2020.
Wind the clock forward to the end of last season and the diminutive halfback had chalked up another seven appearances. Those performances seemed a world away from Lewis’ initial foray into the Rovers set-up.
“I made the step up from the academy (City of Hull Academy) to the first-team and it was very difficult,” Lewis told Everything Rugby League.
“It was a lot more intense and I needed to improve a few things on the physical side of things.
“I made my debut for the academy in France against Catalans and I scored a few tries so James Webster and Tim Sheens came up to me after.
“They said I had had a good game, that they were impressed with what they had seen and then asked if I could come training once or twice a week.
“Nothing got said further until the end of the year and when the season had finished.
“Hull KR contacted my agent and we went from there. I signed a three-year deal and I’m now here until 2023.”
Lewis spent much of 2019 on-loan at Newcastle Thunder – an experience which he waxed lyrical about, especially the influence of the vociferous supporters.
“At first, Tim Sheens worried a bit at the time because he thought I would get pushed about as I was smaller than everyone else.
“I told him to give me that faith and trust and that I wouldn’t let him down.
“So, I went there on a month’s loan and it was one of the best times of my career up to now.
“The boys brought me in as one of their own, and it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in – the Newcastle fans are crazy.”
Oh, and we really don't want our 2021 members to miss out on their free £10 Loyalty Voucher!
— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) March 2, 2021
The halfback shifted back to Craven Park for 2020 and, though he made an appearance for KR in a Challenge Cup victory over Leigh in March, Lewis found opportunities hard to come by – that was until after lockdown.
“I made eight appearances and it came at the right time for me.
“The first few games I had to be a ballboy and cone-man, but I enjoyed it. I’m still pretty young and it was good to be on the sideline to see what happened on a regular basis.
“When my chance came against Wigan, I had to show everyone what I was made of in my first game.
“I just played my own game and I went pretty well. It was my first game back after a few months of lockdown and we got the win.
“I then got the man-of-the-match against St Helens even though we lost. To play regularly was a good experience for me to take into this year to push for that starting spot each week.
Lewis pulled no punches about what he wants from 2021 – to nail down either the 6 or 7 shirt on a weekly basis.
“I’ll be learning every day and each week to be the best I can be.
“My goal individually is to get that regular spot, whether it be 6 or 7.
“I want that game time and confidence to pin that spot down as mine instead of bouncing in and out of the team.
On a collective basis, Lewis said his side have not yet outlined the team goals, but highlighted the excitement within the camp about 2021.
“We haven’t spoken much about this year yet because we’re still waiting on a couple of boys from Down Under.
“The next couple of weeks we will be having a sit down and talking about the goals we will set.
“I think this year could be a really good year with the team we’ve got. We’ve got some great experienced players and youngsters too like me who are eager to learn and play for KR.”