Hull KR new boy Frankie Halton says he has had little time to reflect on a “whirlwind” three years as he gets to grips with life as a full-time player.
Turn back the clock to this time in 2018 and the flexible forward was preparing for a debut senior season with Swinton, having signed from leading community club Leigh Miners Rangers.
A string of impressive performances brought the England Lions Under 23 international an Ireland call-up – he made two appearances in 2019 to help clinch World Cup qualification – and a move to Featherstone for the 2021 campaign.
Halton, who can play prop or backrow, signed a two-year deal, but while the club missed out on a place in Super League (the 25-year-old was in the side beaten by Toulouse in the Million Pound Game in France in October), he is eyeing a top-flight bow after Hull KR’s swoop.
It’s meant a move from Atherton, near Leigh, to the banks of the Humber and relinquishing a mechanical engineering apprenticeship for a shot at the Rugby League big time.
And while Halton, now in full training after a calf niggle carried over from last season, accepts he will have to be patient, he’s determined to make the most of his opportunity.
“It’s too far to travel every day, so I’ve moved into a place near the Marina in Hull,” he explained.
“I want to be able to focus fully on my rugby, because I realise I’m playing catch-up with most of the lads who have been full-timers for a while.
“Now I’ve been lucky enough to get this chance, I want to do all I can to take it.
“I’m ambitious, and I want a first-ream shot as soon as possible, but I have to be realistic and realise I’ve stepped up another level. I’ve seen that in the intensity of the training.
“I’m not going to try to run before I can walk, so I’m trying to take in all the things Tony Smith and the other coaches are telling me.
“The rest of the lads have been great too. They give me tips about all the little things that help improve your game.”
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