Hull KR fullback Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e has described playing in Super League as “a dream come true”.
The 19-year-old signed from Keighley Cougars last year and made his first-team Robins debut with a late cameo against Castleford Tigers in February.
But the youngster, commonly known as ‘PLT’, had to wait until the trip to Wigan Warriors, the week before last, to play in Super League again as injuries hit the club.
He followed that up with a first start in the competition last Thursday, though it only lasted 40 minutes before he was withdrawn with a dead leg.
Laulu-Togaga’e said of his rise: “It’s a dream come true. I’ve wanted to play at the highest level since I could walk.
“I wasn’t expecting to start much (this season) but I was hoping I’d play a few games and that’s fortunately come true.
“It’s a great learning experience, and it’s great that Mags (head coach Danny McGuire) isn’t afraid to throw us (youngsters) in. He has a lot of trust in us.
“It’s not ideal, having all these injured players, but it’s great to get a few Super League games under our belts.”
Between first-team opportunities, Laulu-Togaga’e has been featuring for Hull KR’s reserves, and gained more senior experience to add to twelve Keighley appearances with loan stints at Dewsbury Rams and Rochdale Hornets.
He has also been making the most of a first year in a full-time environment to develop.
“Last year I wasn’t very fit, due to Covid and the season being on and off,” admitted Laulu-Togaga’e.
“This year it was one of my main goals to get a lot fitter and I feel that I have.”
He might not be playing with his father at the Cougars any more, but he continues to receive plenty of advice from veteran Quentin.
“He gives me advice every day; he watches my training and he’s watching my games,” said Phoenix.
“It’s good to have someone like him to give me not just general advice but specific advice about my position.
“I’m still living with him, so it’s good to get it while I can.”
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