Kevin Hoban’s rugby league journey is different to a lot of players on the Fiji tour.
He only picked up a rugby ball for the first time at 19 and didn’t come through a youth structure for either club or county.
The Ellenborough Rangers player has now notched nine years as a first-team regular.
“I started pretty late compared with the rest of the guys here,” Hoban acknowledged.
“My dad got me into rugby league, I went watching him play. He played for Clifton Lions and I always went watching him. A couple of his friends, who coached down at Ellenborough, asked me to go down.”
On BARLA’s tour of Fiji, Hoban said: “I think the group has gelled well.
“At first I was a bit nervous, there were more than a couple of the guys that I didn’t know, but all the guys are great and they’ve welcomed me in.
“We’ve talked about getting messages back home and speaking to loved ones, and I’ve felt it, but all the lads rally around and pick you up, so you aren’t missing home as much as you were at first. The lads are all there for you.”
Hoban is experiencing his first-ever tour and has been blown away by Fiji.
He added: “It’s like another world compared to back home.
“The heat is a big factor for when we play – we are just not used to it. It’s been much better training later, a much more comfortable heat!”