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Costigan feeling at home in Hull

Neville Costigan will look to add another chapter to the love story between Hull KR and Papua New Guinea when he leads his country out by the Humber on Sunday.
Costigan feeling at home in Hull
by AAP

By Wayne Gardiner

HULL, England, Oct 26 PA - Neville Costigan will look to add another chapter to the love story between Hull KR and Papua New Guinea when he leads his country out by the Humber on Sunday.

Costigan has signed a two-year deal with Rovers which will start after the World Cup and he will give his new fans a preview of his talents when PNG face France in their Group B opener.

Adrian Lam's men can expect the support of the locals to fall on their side too, for Costigan is not the first Papua New Guinean to sign for the Robins.

Rovers were so taken by Stanley Gene in the 1995 World Cup that he never returned home, enjoying a career that took in KR, Hull FC, Huddersfield and Bradford, with a coaching role with KR following. His star shines so bright in his homeland that he is practically classed as royalty there.

Visits back to PNG have included his powering parts of the island with electricity with the relative riches he has earned in England, so understandably Costigan is happy to be following in his footsteps.

"I didn't think we would have so much support over here, but coming to Hull where we are based, and with Stanley Gene... Man they all love him there," he told Press Association Sport.

"I didn't realise how big he was here, but he comes to see us every day and everybody knows him. It's good to have someone like that in your corner and he will be someone I hook up with when I move to Hull. It would be nice to do as well as he did."

As a result of the partisan 'home' support, France can expect to be treated as the away team.

Their coach Richard Agar would have anticipated that anyway, considering he spent four years in charge of KR's bitter rivals Hull FC.

"It will be like an away game for us but for me personally, playing one of our games in Hull will be familiar territory," he told reporters.

"I wasn't sure which way the support was going to go but we can't concentrate on that.

"We have to make sure we get people on our side with the way we play and how we conduct ourselves within the city."

France need a performance to banish memories of their shock loss to the United States last weekend in their only warm-up game.

"We had a setback against USA, but we'll be better for that run-out and it blew some cobwebs off us," Wakefield coach Agar added.

"I may not be French but I still felt the same amount of pride as the players did."


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