Exclusive: Castleford Tigers beaten to ‘wonderkid’ signing by Hull KR

His father had already graced the Jungle turf, but Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e instead chose Hull KR over Castleford Tigers.

Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e – or QLT for short – played for the West Yorkshire side for a brief spell in 2018, scoring six tries in nine appearances before dropping back down to the Championship in 2019 with Halifax.

QLT had been signed by the Tigers as emergency cover, but he more than excelled in the top flight, raising questions over why hadn’t he been given the opportunity before he hit 33 years of age.

Now, it’s his son Phoenix’s turn.

Signed by Hull KR in August 2021, the former Leicester Tigers junior revealed how the Super League move came about.

“At first I was supposed to sign and play for Leicester Tigers and Loughborough University next year but it wasn’t a full-time contract,” Phoenix told Serious About Rugby League.

“Me and my dad thought that I would benefit more in a full-time environment and we began looking for clubs and seeing if there was any interest about in Super League after playing some games for Keighley Cougars.”

That left two clubs fighting over his signature – Hull KR and Castleford – and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e (PLT) ended up choosing the former.

“There was another club interested not just Hull KR – it was Castleford Tigers.

“I had a meeting with both Lee Radford and Tony Smith but chose Hull KR in the end.”

PLT also revealed that he is constantly taking tips from his father – QLT – as they both operate as fullbacks.

“My dad is constantly giving me tips especially after games.

“Because we play the same position it’s usually quite specific.

“The biggest tip he’s given me is to back myself and be confident in my own abilities no matter how big the stage is.”

That stage is likely to be the Super League consistently at some point in the future, but the 18-year-old has lofty ambitions for the here and now.

“My main goal was to make my Super League debut this year no matter what position that may be in.

“Another one is improving greatly on my fitness because that was one of my weaknesses this year playing for Keighley.”

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