Hull KR have dipped into the lower leagues once again to sign highly-rated teenage fullback Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e from Keighley.
The 18-year-old is the son of former Sheffield, Toronto, Halifax, Castleford, Newcastle and Samoa international fullback Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, with the two playing alongside each other for the Cougars this season.
Phoenix, who joined Keighley after a spell in the Academy at top rugby union club Leicester, has agreed a Hull KR contract until 2023, but will be loaned back to the Cougars for the remainder of this season.
At Rovers, he is set to understudy Lachlan Coote, who will move from St Helens at the end of the season on a two-year contract.
Rovers have already recruited Ireland international second rower Frankie Halton, 25, and prop Tom Garratt, 26, from Championship clubs Featherstone and Dewsbury respectively, both on deals to 2023 which start next season.
Meanwhile, halfback Rowan Milnes, 21, signed from Bradford ahead of last season and a try-scorer in Friday’s 26-14 home win over Wigan, has signed a contract extension through to 2025.
But experienced backrower Dean Hadley has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
The 29-year-old suffered a dislocated shoulder during the 34-28 Super League win at Leigh.
Hadley had to go to hospital after being injured in a tackle early in his 13th appearance of the year.
He joined Rovers from Hull ahead of the 2020 campaign, having had a loan stint there the season before. He is contracted until next year.
Rovers coach Tony Smith explained: “The doctors and physios could not get it back in so they had to take him to hospital. I’m gutted for Deano, his season is finished.”
It’s the latest in a list of injuries for Hadley, who suffered a broken thumb during the 2020 pre-season and in May, a facial wound at Wakefield, where he had a loan spell from Hull in 2017.
“He’s a strong character,” said Smith.
“He’s had his fair share of injuries mainly because he puts so much effort into every game and puts his body on the line for his teammates.”
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