Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent, NRL.com
He will go down as one of Fiji's greatest exports since kava, but now Parramatta sensation Semi Radradra has revealed a desire to one day represent the Kangaroos.
"Last year I tried my best. My focus [now] is on Origin and playing for the Kangaroos," he said in a rare interview with reporters on Monday.
And while pulling on a NSW jumper might be off the table due to the latest eligibility rules – they now stipulate he must be born in either New South Wales or Queensland, or lived in either state before the age of 13 – Radradra's dream of earning an Australian jersey could one day come true.
In just his second season in first grade he is arguably the most dangerous winger in the NRL, leading the competition in tries with 15 and ranking equal third in line breaks with 12.
He also averages 126 metres a game, has tallied 11 offloads, and saved six tries this year – an amazing achievement considering he could barely string a sentence together when he first arrived on Australian shores three years ago.
"First time I find [life in Australia] hard. Lucky I live close to the boys. The way of life, mostly everything [was hard]. It's different from where I come from. Especially coffee and stuff, the way I talk. Especially the language," he said.
With the help of Parramatta's long-time welfare officer Kevin Wise and veteran Eel Fuifui Moimoi, the 23-year-old has taken regular English lessons to help strengthen his communication skills on and off the field.
"I can understand speaking English. But it's hard for me to actually speak it, know what I mean? I can understand when you talk to me, but I can't say... I can't talk to you," he said.
"I've been doing lessons, Kevin Wise helps me do English stuff. Sometimes hang with the boys, which helps. Catch up.
"[Footy] is easy for me. But if I don't know something, I'll always talk to the boys. Especially Fui. He can understand me."
Radradra's presence on the right edge has been a huge weapon for Eels coach Brad Arthur this year, and he's been the primary beneficiary of Jarryd Hayne's 22 combined try and line break assists – earning him a new four-year deal worth a reported $1 million with the club last month.