Melbourne Storm prop Alex Chan has been called into the New Zealand Test squad today as a replacement for Penrith forward Tony Puletua, who will leave the team after Saturday�s Tri-Nations clash with Australia to undergo ankle surgery.
Puletua will take his place in tomorrow�s opening Tri-Nations Test in Auckland before undergoing surgery next week, leaving Chan to join the squad today in preparation for the English leg of the series.
Chan, who returned to Melbourne on Tuesday following the Storm�s end-of-season trip to Queensland, said he was thrilled by the prospect of making his international debut for the Kiwis.
�I�m elated, I�ve only ever dreamt about playing for my country so for it to become a reality is an honour and a privilege,� Chan said today before heading off to New Zealand to join his Kiwi teammates.
�I�ve measured myself against Aussies all my career so to finally have the chance to represent New Zealand and to come up against them and the English is really great.�
The New Zealand Rugby League placed Chan on standby on Wednesday as they tried to reach an agreement with Puletua�s National Rugby League Club Penrith as to the back-rower�s availability for the Tri-Nations series.
�I first got a call on Wednesday and was told that I was on standby for Tony, the second call came at 7am this morning notifying me that I was needed in the squad,� Chan added.
�I didn�t feel at my best after the end-of-season trip with the boys but I�m really excited about joining the team and looking forward to the English leg of the series.�
29-year-old Chan enjoyed an outstanding debut season with the Storm this year, playing a major role in the club�s run to the second week of the NRL finals series.
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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]