Exclusive: Why Castleford were rejected in favour of Hull KR for new signing

When Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e met with both Castleford Tigers’ new head coach Lee Radford and Hull KR’s entrenched boss Tony Smith, there was only one thing separating the two places.

According to Phoenix’s father, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, who himself had experienced the Jungle for a short spell in 2018, the difference was one major signing made by Hull KR.

That difference was Lachlan Coote; to start with, QLT revealed that his son came out of the meeting with Radford happy and excited.

“We had a meeting with Radders first and then Tony Smith, but coming out of that meeting with Radders, Phoenix was really happy about it,” QLT told Serious About Rugby League.

“Radders had a vision for the club which we were really excited about.”

With QLT and PLT edging towards the Jungle, it was time for Smith to pull out his ace.

“Then the next day we had a meeting with Tony Smith, and I think the big draw card was Lachlan Coote going there.

“Phoenix has only spent a little time in rugby league – he’s been playing rugby union the past three years so Coote going to Hull KR was the main factor.

“He wanted to learn from him and it was something he just couldn’t pass up.”

PLT has signed a contract until the end of the 2023 season.

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