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Dom Young’s journey to England stardom started with being ‘roughed up’

DOM Young was put on the road to rugby league stardom by being ‘roughed up’ in his back garden by big brother Alex.

But the England winger’s try scoring feats are far from a surprise to the man who does not need to do much to keep his feet on the ground.

Dom Young is the star of the Rugby League World Cup so far – but brother Alex has revealed his start was very different

Young’s quartet of scores as England hammered Greece 94-4 on Saturday propelled the Newcastle Knights man to the top of the World Cup’s scoring charts.

Crowds audibly rise in anticipation, defences often trail in his wake, his skill will mean a big money contract when he heads back to the NRL.

For Jamaica star and fellow winger Alex, though, he is still the kid he tackled, sometimes a bit too hard for his parents’ liking, in a garden in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

He said: “We’d go into the garden and I’d rough him up a bit!

“I can’t go into details but I gave him some. We’d be told off most nights after school by our parents.

“That helped him as if he’s getting tackled and hit by his brother, coming up against big lads in open age would be nothing new to him.

“All the way through the age groups, Dom played a year up because of how big he was, so he was used to the bigger contacts.

“Dom played at Dewsbury Moor while I was at Oulton Raiders. He’d watch me then I’d watch him and critique him in the car to try and get things right for next week.

“He just got better and better. I’d like to think that helped him out

Young admits his World Cup campaign has come as a shock – had he not been called up by England boss Shaun Wane, he would have been playing for Jamaica.

Even after destroying defences, he has been in the stands cheering the Reggae Warriors on, alongside grandmother Joyce, who hails from the island.

Crowds audibly lift whenever Newcastle Knights winger Young gets the ball

But Dom’s story is one of backing yourself to make it when others perhaps did not. He went to Australia with only two appearances for Huddersfield under his belt.

Alex added: “It was a huge leap of faith. Not only to leave Huddersfield but to leave with two games’ experience.

“A lot of people wrote him off straight away, saying, ‘What’s he doing in the NRL, he’s hardly played in Super League?’

“They were two heavy defeats he played in too but he just backed himself. I’ve always backed him. I knew what he was capable of having watched him through the age groups.

“I knew that if he put his mind to it, he’d be all good. This is no surprise.”

Dom’s move to Australia has meant Alex, who plays at Championship side Workington, mostly sees his brother on his phone through Facetime calls.

Alex Young insists he is not surprised by brother Dom’s impact

So being able to cheer each other on in person, now Jamaica are out he will be at England’s matches, is a thrill, even though he has to concede he now lags behind his 21-year-old sibling.

He continued: “We’re extremely close, even though now it’s mostly through Facetime. This World Cup’s been really nice as he’s been back at home.

“The biggest shock when he went was fitness. At Huddersfield, he was comfortable and could get by with his physical attributes but being chucked in that environment just spurred him on.

“His big brother may talk to him and he may pretend he’s listening but he has better advisors now.

“I couldn’t be prouder of him and where he’s come from and all this hasn’t changed him. He’s very down to earth.

“Before he went to Australia, I had him comfortably in a race but that extra training has turned him a bit. I’m not as confident now.

“It’s mad but it’s just made him more motivated – but he’s not coming back home if he gets an Aussie accent!”

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