Peta Hiku might not know where he'll be playing next season but he's thrilled to get the chance to represent New Zealand this week. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Efficient Manly Sea Eagles utility Peta Hiku has described his call-up into the New Zealand side to take on Australia in this Friday night's Anzac Test as a dream come true.
While Hiku, who has been at the centre of contract negotiations with several clubs, remained coy about where he'll end up in 2015 – mentioning that he'd "love to stay at the Sea Eagles" – he was more than happy to talk about his Kiwi debut.
"I'm rapt. It's always been a dream of mine to play for the Kiwis since I was young. So I'm finally here and I'm really happy about it – being brought up in New Zealand it's a real honour for me to play in the black and white jumper," Hiku told NRL.com.
"I found out after our game on Sunday night in the changing room. I got a phone call and then I called my mum and dad as soon as I found out. I couldn't get a hold of them but then I got onto my dad and I told him so he was rapt about it.
"My parents always wanted me to play for the Kiwis so it's real big for my family for me to play in the black and white jumper. Hopefully my family get to come over here and watch the game."
In what was a memorable weekend for Hiku, the lightning 21-year-old managed to score four tries for the Sea Eagles in their 54-18 win over the Raiders, the first time he had scored multiple tries in the NRL.
"I was very happy about that and to top it off I got phone call about the Kiwis. It's the first time I've ever scored four tries. I was happy just to get two," Hiku explained.
"The first time I even got two in a game and not only that it's an NRL match so it was good to get that outside all the classy players inside of me."
With Australia now earmarked as his home away from home, Hiku pointed out that he prefers the fullback position above others despite covering most position for the Sea Eagles since his debut and it appears his new coach Stephen Kearney agrees.
"He [Kearney] talked to me playing a bit of fullback but it should be good for all the boys getting together, gelling together and getting to know each other better on the field. I've always played fullback though so I prefer it there but I just enjoy playing footy so I'm happy anywhere in the backline," Hiku said.
Hiku jokingly added: "Chuck me in the forward pack and I wouldn't mind playing."