Moylan aims to fill Hayne void
While an emotional Jarryd Hayne was busy explaining to the rugby league community why he'd be in Los Angeles the next few weeks, Matt Moylan was planning a very similar excursion.
In the aftermath of yesterday's Hayne bombshell, the Panthers fullback was immediately added to the Kangaroos squad for the Four Nations, turning Moylan's off-season plans into chaos.
And just to ensure he wasn't going on some tour of UCLA Bruins or something of the ilk, the Penrith talent promised was just looking to let off some steam after what was a breakout season.
"Nah, it was just with a few mates to relax for a bit. I was going over there to get away for a holiday. But now I'm more excited about this than a holiday," Moylan told NRL.com.
"I was actually meant to go to two places, but they both got canned.
"I was meant to go to Thailand last week but I obviously got asked to play in Papua New Guinea [for the Prime Minster's XIII], so I had to cancel that one.
"Then when I didn't make the [Kangaroos] squad, I booked a trip to go to America on Tuesday. I had to cancel that [on Wednesday]."
Moylan, 23, was forced to cancel his initial trip to Thailand after being selected for the annual trip to Papua New Guinea, where he impressed Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens in the fullback role.
"It was real good – a bit of an eye-opener. It was something that I wasn't used to, but it was an enjoyable time," he said.
"The whole atmosphere of the trip... people just love their footy over there. They knew who everyone was. It's an incredible experience.
"Obviously some of the players that were in had played at the highest level before; just to see how they prepare for a game like that is something I'll always remember."
Moylan will now take the Kangaroos kit that was fitted to the inch for one of this year's Dally M medallists, filling the boots of a player he watched growing up and then studied religiously when in his rookie season last year.
"Obviously I watched him play when I was growing up and he was playing Origin at a young age and playing rep footy at a young age. He was definitely someone that I loved watching play," he said.
"When I started playing fullback, I studied tapes of him and [Billy] Slater."
Now with Hayne out of the picture, Moylan has set his sights on battling it out with Dragons centre Josh Dugan, Manly fullback Brett Stewart and Wests Tigers No.1 James Tedesco for a Blues jumper next season.
"I think [playing Origin] was always the goal, but obviously he was in front of me and there's probably a couple of other players that could play in that role as well," he said.
"I'll just take everything as it comes – if I get the opportunity next year by playing good enough, I'll be more than happy to play there."