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Young shows the way for UK NRL hopefuls

Dominic Young left the UK without any indication he would make it in the NRL.

But in 12 months of plying his trade in rugby league’s toughest arena, Young is convinced there will be an influx of British youngsters to the Australian game.

As a teenager in 2021, Young took the plunge after quitting Super League club Huddersfield with just two senior appearances under his belt.

Now 20, the 200cm winger scored four tries in six NRL games during an impressive first season with Newcastle.

Typically, British players have waited until they are seasoned internationals before making the move to Australia.

But Young opted to sidestep his apprenticeship in Super League and believes others will now follow his path.

“I know a lot of players come out when they are more established, but I thought: ‘why not me?’ I really wanted that challenge,” Young told AAP.

“I think the clubs over here are looking more at British lads. I think it’s on a lot of the younger guys’ radar now.”

Brisbane centre Herbie Farnworth is the best example, while Canberra’s ball-playing back-rower Harry Rushton would probably have made his debut in 2021 were it not for injury.

Newcastle hold high hopes for fullback Bailey Hodgson while another former England youth international, Femi Sanya, has recently been offered to Australian clubs.

“I’ve got a couple of mates who have asked me about it and I would never have thought I would play in the NRL at 19,” Young said.

“I definitely think I’m further on in my development for coming out here.

“You can always go back to England. I reckon the best thing to do is throw yourself in at the deep end and get the best out of yourself.

“I’d advise anyone to take a leap of faith, if you don’t come out you’ll be left thinking ‘what if?’.”

After getting a taste of top-flight action in 2021, Young hopes to become a permanent fixture in coach Adam O’Brien’s side.

“I had a chat with Adam last year and I told him how much I’d learned,” Young, a tryscorer in Monday’s trial against Canterbury, said.

“But I want to get out of the mindset of ‘I’ve just got here and I’m learning’.

“I’ve had a really good pre-season and have felt the best I’ve ever felt.

“Hopefully I can get a spot for round one – that’s my aim.”

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