Soon to be Parramatta Eels player Chris Thorman says he will be living a dream when he eventually comes to Australia to play in the NRL next season. Thorman , who had the unique reputation for being the only Geordie player in the English Super League this season will be leaving England in the next few weeks to join the Eels in their pre season training. However, the 23 year, who played for the London Broncos this season has told a Newcastle Newspaper that he was shocked when first approached by the Eels.
"It really was both unbelievable and unexpected," Thorman said "When I received that first phone call from Parramatta I was gobsmacked and not because it was six o'clock in the morning. I was living with three other Bronco first-teamers and I just sat down and said: `You'll never guess who that was.' They knew I was out of contract and that several Super League clubs were always on the phone but this was totally different. I didn't even mention money on that first call. It matters, of course, but when you get an opportunity like this it isn't the first thing you think about.�
Thorman was recommended to coach Brian Smith by his brother Tony who coached Huddersfield in the 2002 season, where Thorman was a key player in seeing them earn promotion to the Super League and where he was voted players player. Thorman was off contract at seasons end and was hot property with a number of other ESL teams expressing interest but he says the opportunity of playing in the NRL was too good to let go.
"The trouble was I had a verbal agreement with Hull. I was going there. The Broncos had offered me a new three-year contract, St Helens were in, Castleford were sniffing, and so were others. When Brian Smith phoned, he started selling his club to me but he didn't have to do it. It isn't every day a Geordie kid gets an opportunity like this one.�
Thorman was one of the stars for England A last week when they surprised the Australian national team by going down narrowly by only 4 points. He was also named Man of the match in the War Of Roses origin match between Yorkshire and Lancashire earlier this season where Yorkshire won 56-6. Thorman scored 20 points in the match with a try and 8 goals. Representative football is nothing new for him though having previously been selected for Great Britain Young Lions, GB Academy and GB Under-21s. However he has his mind set on selection in the Great Britain squad something he knows playing for Australia will help him achieve.
"I always watch Aussie League on Sky Television - it's awesome," said Chris. "So I know all about the standard of rugby - it's even higher than Super League - and about Parramatta itself.�
"Ask anyone in league which country is the best in the world and they'll tell you it's Australia. So to play in their National Rugby League is more than you dare dream about."
�Professionally the move is just so right," he added. "And that's before you consider the weather, the wonderful city that Sydney is and the people. I love their attitude and their humour - they are very like Geordies.�
"Whatever happens I'll become a better player for playing in Australia."