Chase in Maori squad for England clash

Castleford Tigers head coach Terry Matterson believes the call up of Rangi Chase to the New Zealand Maori squad to face England is good news for his star kiwi half back.

Chase, 24, has won the club’s coveted Player of the Year award two years in succession since joining the Tigers in 2009 and Matterson sees an opportunity for his player to push for full International honours:

“It’s good news. Any opportunity for a player to play representative football is a real bonus.

“We have seen how difficult it is for kiwi players over here to play for New Zealand. Thomas Leuluai (Wigan) seems to be the only player to be picked regularly. With this game being played over in New Zealand it will certainly give the selectors a reminder that Rangi Chase is still around and that’s good for him.

“He will want to play well and put himself in front of the New Zealand selectors.”

“I’m sure Rangi is also pretty excited about playing against all of the England guys.”

Asked whether Rangi’s International commitments will interfere with his return to pre-season training with the Tigers next month, Terry said:

“There won’t be a problem in terms of him returning for pre-season training on schedule.

“He will return shortly after he has played. He deserves this chance and we’re pleased for him.”

Rangi and the Maori, coached by former Tigers and New Zealand centre Ritchie Blackmore, face England in Auckland on Saturday 16th October.

The clash is a warm up game for Coach Steve McNamara and his England team as they prepare for the Gillette Four Nations opener on Saturday 23rd October against the full New Zealand side.

New Zealand Maori:

K Locke (NZ Warriors); S Earl (Penrith), T Tahu (Parramatta), C Toopi (Gold Coast), A J Taumata (North Queensland); R Chase (Castleford), J Smith (Salford); W Heta (Otahuhu), A Heremaia (NZ Warriors), W Hauraki (Crusaders), J Horo (Parramatta), B Thompson (Gold Coast), K Proctor (Melbourne). Subs: J Tamou (North Queensland), S McKendry (Penrith), R Packer (NZ Warriors). One player to be added from the Kiwis.

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