Hull KR have signed teenage outside back Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e from League 1 club Keighley.
The Robins say they beat several clubs to secure the signature of the youngster, who linked up with Keighley last winter following the shutdown of Leicester Tigers’ academy due to Covid-19.
Smith said: “We are delighted to get Phoenix. He’s an exciting young player and I think he’s ready for full-time rugby league and a full-time environment.
“I think he’s ready to compete with fellow players for Super League status. It won’t take him long whether it’s before the end of this season or into next season, I think he’s ready for that.
“He’s a huge talent, a really exciting talent. I am looking forward to coaching him.
“These are very exciting times for Phoenix but also very exciting times for us. It’s a real honour that he chose to come to us over a number of teams that were vying for his services.”
Lalau-Togagae becomes Rovers’ fifth signing for 2022 and thier third from outside Super League following the addition of forwards Frankie Halton and Tom Garratt from Featherstone and Dewsbury respectively.
In other Hull KR news, forward Dean Hadley has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
The 28-year-old sustained the injury in Sunday’s 34-28 victory at Leigh and will play no further part in Hull KR’s campaign.
Hull KR currently sit fifth in the Super League table having won seven out of their 13 games this season. They welcome Wigan to Craven Park on Friday night.