Some players always harbour a desire to return to a former club for their own reasons and for Ben Cockayne, he always wanted to return to Hull Kingston Rovers and now, he has the chance to do so.
After a successful stint at the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Cockayne will return to the side he once called home – the Rovers – after signing a 2-year deal.
Cockayne, 30, played for the Rovers back in 2006 before joining the Wildcats in 2011 and says a return was always on the card and he looks forward to maintaining the high standard of play he enjoyed at the Wildcats.
â€œComing back here was something I always thought Iâ€™d like to do,â€ Cockayne said.
â€œBut for it to happen now when I feel as though Iâ€™m playing some of my best rugby is great and I canâ€™t quite believe it really. Iâ€™m really happy, I have a bit of repaying to do and am looking forward to doing that.â€
As time has worn on, Cockayne believes he has matured and changed his last stint at the Rovers and admits he has learnt some lessons along the road during his career.
â€œIâ€™ve grown up a fair bit in the past couple of years,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™ve learnt a few of lifeâ€™s lessons the hard way and my life has gone full circle since I was last with the club.
Iâ€™ve got a focus away from rugby league now which is a successful business that Iâ€™m involved with and I really enjoy dealing with that when Iâ€™m not training or playing. Iâ€™m a different person now and just want to repay a few people who have shown some faith in me.â€
With Hull KR looking to improve both on and off the field, it was their willingness and desire to improve in those areas that also convinced Cockayne to rejoin the club.
â€œThe club has changed quite a lot since I was last here,â€ he added.
â€œThe first time I met with Craig (Sandercock), I was very impressed with one or two things he had to say about making improvements to my game. That was great as Iâ€™m always willing to learn and know that Iâ€™m not the finished article as a player.
â€œThe club seems to have grown off the field, the calibre of the players within the squad is very good and Iâ€™m just looking forward to getting out there and contributing.â€
For the club, they are excited to have Cockayne returning and expect big things out of him.
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to working with Ben and heâ€™s gone really well over the past couple of seasons,” said Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock.
“Iâ€™ve had a good chat with him and heâ€™s coming back here for the right reasons. Heâ€™s a good player and Iâ€™m expecting him to come here and do well for us.â€