Written by Callum Walker
Elliot Minchella has had a rollercoaster of a rugby league career so far. Having come through the Leeds academy setup, controversy struck in 2015 and the forward was sent on-loan to London.
Transfers to Sheffield and then Bradford saw Minchella re-establish himself as a formidable second-tier star. However, Hull KR boss Tony Smith identified the forward as someone that can make the step up. Indeed, Minchella now feels he has settled into a club where he can make his home.
“I’m really happy at Hull KR and I loved my first year here,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“It’s been strange with us playing the majority of our games with no fans so I am looking forward to a full season in playing in front of our own spectators. Of course, with covid allowing.”
The Bradford-born 24-year-old was a regular under Smith in 2020, impressing with a number of star performances in the pack – as well as filling in in the halves.
“I’m pleased I played in 16 games last year; I was happy with that, but I feel I need to kick on next season and go even better.
“It felt really good to get out on the field with a Super League side after waiting patiently for an opportunity in the Championship.
“I wanted to take the chance with both hands.”
With relegation back on the cards in 2021, Rovers may well be looking over their shoulders in the upcoming campaign having finished bottom in 2020. Yet, that is something which Minchella and the rest of the club have not even talked about.
“We haven’t spoken about relegation at all; it’s not something on our minds at all.
“We are looking up at the table rather than down. It’s going to be a tough season for everyone, but we are confident that if we play to our abilities we will be nowhere near the drop.”
Having secured regular top-flight rugby for the first time in his career, Minchella is keen to kick on, but he is taking nothing for granted.
“My goals are to improve on last year with more appearances and be more consistent with my performances.
“We’ve made some good signings that have all come in and fit in well so there’s a lot of competition for places and that’s good for the side.
“But if I play how I know I can, it will be a good year.”