Declan Patton thought he was going to Turkey this week, but instead he is going on a tour of Papua New Guinea.
The 23-year-old half-back was heartbroken after Warrington Wolves lost to Wigan Warriors in the Super League Grand Final but was cheered up when he received a phonecall from England Knights head coach Paul Anderson a couple of days later.
Patton received the international call-up and replaced the injured Danny Richardson in the Knights’ squad and at the time of chatting to Anderson over the phone, Patton was preparing to go on holiday with his young family.
“I was meant to be going Turkey for 10 days with my family to get my head away from everything!” Patton told loverugbyleague.com.
“I had booked the holiday with my missus and kid so I’m trying to move that back now so I don’t lose any money but I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be with the Knights. I still want to go away when I get back though, so that’s why I’m trying to get it changed and not cancel it all together!
“I got the call on the Monday after the Grand Final and I wasn’t expecting it at all but I’ve never been involved with the set up before and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It was a complete surprise. I was just on the couch and my phone rang and I was actually getting stuff ready to go away and I was packing my holiday stuff but I’m very lucky to be involved and I’ll try my best to give back what I can.”
Patton has been played in an unfamiliar role of hooker by Steve Price at Warrington this year but has impressed in the position.
But the former Woolston Rovers and Latchford Albion junior wants to show what he can do in the halves on the Knights’ tour of Papua New Guinea.
“It has been different this year, obviously I want to be playing half-back but I just do what is best for the team,” he added.
“I’ve played somewhere I’ve never played before and I’ve picked up a few things from it and I think it’ll only help me in the long run but I’m looking forward to getting back into the position I want to play in and give it a really good go.
“I’m excited to get over to Papua New Guinea. I’ve seen some of the videos and it looks pretty mental and they strip you off naked after the game because they want your kit!
“We’ve all started to gel together now and we have got a great bunch of lads here and we all want to put our best foot forward on the tour.”