Theo Fages making his mark at Salford City Reds

Last Updated: 21/05/13 5:22pm

Few players have crossed the English Channel at the age of 16 but Salford City Reds scrum-half Theo Fages told Boots 'n' All that he has laid firm foundations in Super League.

The teenager is part way through a five-year deal with the club and hopes that he will be the first of a flurry of young French players to ply their trade in England's top tier.

"I think we have improved since the first game but there is still a lot of work to do and we are thinking about next season and preparing for that."

Theo Fages

"I always wanted to play Super League, so when I had the chance to come over here I couldn't say 'no'," he told Boots. "I was young and my Dad pushed me and my family supported me, so I just tried it.

"The French game is good but it is not Super League. We've only got Catalan Dragons but they don't have under-18s or 19s or an academy, so it is hard for young lads. That is why I tried to come over here.

"I think I'm the first to do it and it gives the young lads something to think about and they want to come and try their chances now."

Fages is even more determined to make his mark after a late tackle from Catalan Dragons' Julian Bousquet knocked him out for eight minutes.

At one point in February's game Fages stopped breathing but after a spell of recuperation with his family back home in France he returned to action and is now phlegmatic about the incident.

"As soon as he hit me, I was sleeping! I was knocked out as soon as he hit me with his shoulder or elbow. I woke up on my way to the hospital and didn't know where I was," he said.

"I think I got lucky but that's the game - you get bad tackles and hits in rugby league. You have to expect that."

Preparing

Salford City Reds sit rock-bottom of the Super League at present, level with Castleford and London Broncos on points but with a worse points difference.

It has been a tough season but Fages says the club will benefit from the experience when the next campaign rolls around.

"The first few games were really tough," he admitted, "and then we signed a few players and they came into the team.

"I think we have improved since the first game but there is still a lot of work to do and we are thinking about next season and preparing for that."

Resilience

Boots guest Jon Wells said he's impressed with the progress that Fages has made in the game so far and believes that the future is bright for the youngster and the club.

"It has been a big challenge for him - he is immersing himself in English culture now," said Wells.

"He's a real talent and a crafty little player. He is someone, along with Mark Sneyd that Brian Noble could build a half-back partnership around.

"You could build a good, strong unit around those players. Both have shown glimpses of great potential so far.

"He's already shown his resilience and his confidence to bounce back from what was a bit of a car-crash of a tackle."