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“We’d never heard of him” – Tonga star admits to not knowing Mikey Lewis

After 40 brilliant minutes of test match rugby league it’s level scores between England and Tonga with the game on a knife edge at 12-12, but one man has lit the game up from an England perspective in the form of Mikey Lewis.

Hull KR’s maverick half-back is on debut for England and had the big boots of suspended captain George Williams to fill however he’s done so confidently.

Lewis has made the six shirt his own during the first forty minutes with a brilliant break to set up England’s first try, whilst the second was all him and saw the Rovers man dart through, throw a dummy and then duck under the Tongan tacklers to touch down and bring England back level.

Whilst Lewis is known to those in Super League after having had somewhat of a breakout season in 2023, it appears that he maybe isn’t known on the other side of the world as evidenced when BBC Sport reporter Tanya Arnold interviewed Tongan star Felise Kaufusi.

With the teams leaving the pitch for half-time, Arnold briefly interviewed the Tongan loose forward Kaufusi and when quizzed about Lewis he gave a surprising answer.

“No, we had never heard of him, but we have now,” Kaufusi admitted, much to the amusement of pundits Jamie Peacock and Jon Wilkin,

Wilkin was full of praise for Lewis’ half-back partner Harry Smith but when referencing Lewis, spoke glowingly.

“Now for the magic,” Wilkin explained. “This is the piece of stardust that is sprinkled on this first-half, what a performance from him!”

Peacock agreed: “This is as good as it gets, if you’ve played 20 or 30 tests then you’d be pleased with that.

“Mikey Lewis has got a bit of X-factor about him, there’s a little bit of spark every time he gets the ball.”

In reference to Kaufusi’s admission that the Tongan side knew nothing of the Hull KR playmaker, Peacock explained the disrespect it shows.

“It always happens, I think that players who have not played internationally before or not been in the NRL do get disrespected a little bit.,” Peacock told the BBC Sport coverage at half time.

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