Kangaroos rookie AJ Brimson has revealed how he explored an opportunity to represent for England before being presented a shot at an Australian jumper.
Brimson is among a handful of exciting youngsters picked in Mal Meninga's 16-man squad that will contest the inaugural World Cup nines beginning on Friday.
However, the Gold Coast star admitted first approaching Wayne Bennett earlier in the year about the possibility of playing for the country of his mother's birth.
"I just said to him, 'Just letting you know that if I wasn't going to get picked in any of this, that I'm an option because I'm half-English'," Brimson told AAP.
"But once I spoke to Mal, who said I should try and play for this stuff, Australia was always going to be my number one choice."
While Meninga hinted to Brimson that he was a nines chance, it wasn't until the back-end of a trip to Europe that the 21-year-old was assured of selection.
He was home for just three days before rushing to Sydney to join the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans, Wade Graham and Ben Hunt in camp.
"I was actually in Egypt on the way home from Europe when I got the text from him about being called in," Brimson said.
"Obviously I was pretty shocked."
But now the Titans playmaker will have to put aside his surprise in what shapes as another opportunity to press his claims for a lucrative long-term NRL deal.
With one more year remaining on his cut-price deal at the sunshine strip, Brimson will be able to officially field offers from rival clubs on November 1.
The Wests Tigers have already been linked with the Keebra Park product, who has yet to speak to incoming Titans coach Justin Holbrook.
Brimson is hopeful of settling his future by the start of next season.
"I don't really like sitting around and being asked about it," he said.
"And then the pressure of, 'Oh, I don't play good. Is that going to affect that sort of stuff in-season?' So I'd rather get it done before it starts."
Australian Associated Press