firstname.lastname@example.org (Julie Stott)
Weller Hauraki is willing to risk a clip round the ear and some verbals from his mum in his bid to stay at Hull KR.
The 35-year-old Rovers captain had originally planned to retire at the end of this year and join the police in New Zealand.
But the Kiwi star, who joined Super League a decade ago, says he now might play on next season – even though his mum’s not happy about it.
The father of three said: “I thought it was going to be my last year but my body is feeling really fresh so I will see how my body is at the back end.
“I told mum that I might not come back at the end of this season so she’s a little bit stressed.
“I could see it in her face that she wasn’t happy and if she could touch me she would grab me by the ear and say ‘Come home now’.”
Hauraki insists his mum will eventually accept it, if it makes him happy, even though it will be another year before she has grandkids Taj, 10, Taya, 8, and six-year-old Tana home for good.
He added: “I’m sure she’ll be happy whatever decision I make. My kids are pretty much English but once they get back to New Zealand they will look forward to being with all their cousins and family.”
Rovers, whose chief benefactor Neil Hudgell is pulling out at the end of the season, have 11 players off contract and fighting for new deals for next season.
Hauraki played only once before lockdown, following an ankle injury in pre-season, but has started all three games in restart.
He played prop in the bottom club’s shock 34-18 win over Wigan on Thursday, with Rovers’s off-the-cuff adventurous style rattling the League leaders.
Coach Tony Smith has gone for a daring approach, because relegation has been abandoned this year due to the problems caused by Covid-19.
Smith said: “We play a bit differently to most of the teams and we’ve had some criticism about taking too much risk.
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“But we want to entertain as well. If we try to go toe with all the big boys we can’t quite do that so we have to do it a little differently. I’d like to think it is entertaining at the same time.”
Castleford were also involved in a try-fest thriller, beating Salford 37-30, and hooker Paul McShane says fans can expect more of the same from lots of teams.
He said: “The off-the-cuff stuff is probably what’s winning games at the minute. Structure is dying down a bit and it’s the reactive stuff that’s working.”