Tom Starling was Christmas shopping with his Mum when a blocked phone number started flashing on his phone. "I thought it might have been a Telstra scam but it was Pete [Mulholland] so I was pretty happy to get that call," Starling said. Raiders recruitment guru Mulholland had been looking for a back-up number nine ahead of the 2019 season, and recent recruit Hudson Young suggested the fleet-footed Starling would be a perfect fit. A tick over 18 months later and Starling has been awarded with a two-year contract extension after emerging as one of the game's most exciting young hookers He scored a try and laid on three more in the win over Cronulla on Saturday. But were it not for Mulholland's call, Starling might still be up on the border plying his trade in the Queensland Cup for the Tweed Seagulls.