Former England half-back Rangi Chase explains how a phone call led up to his international call up under Steve McNamara.
Chase, 35, won eight caps for England, making his debut against France in 2011.
He won the man of the match award in the warm up test. He featured in the 2011 Four Nations, and the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in England.
Born in New Zealand, he represented Exiles before a call with then-England boss Steve McNamara saw him earn a call-up while at Castleford.
He qualified through residency, having represented New Zealand Maori between 2008-2010.
Rangi Chase on call with Steve McNamara
“I called the coach,” said Chase on the latest Love Rugby League podcast.
“I’m still a proud Kiwi and proud of where I come from. I wasn’t getting picked for New Zealand, and my wife at the time was pregnant with my eldest boy so I thought I’m never going to leave this country, this is home for me now.
“An Australian agent had a few connections and he got me Steve McNamara’s number and I said what do you think about me playing for England?
“He said leave it with me. He said he’d have a chat with the senior players; Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and players like that. He came back to me and said it’s alright with them and alright with me and that’s how it came about.
“I still speak like a Kiwi. I sort of felt like I didn’t fit in. Personally, I found it quite tough. I always wanted to be true to myself, being a Kiwi fella.
“At training, you had to be on your ‘a-game’ and it brings the best out of you. The intensity is another level and I found that really good to be around.
“Players like Peacock, Sinfield, teams I was used to playing against. I got on with everyone.
“I was a floater because I was the only one from Castleford.
“Sam Tomkins at that time, he was unbelievable. Sometimes you find yourself in awe around the players. Jamie Peacock’s leadership, when he spoke you just listened. I was room-mates with Kevin Sinfield a couple of times. He was a good bloke.”