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While Australian debutants Ben Hunt, David Klemmer and Sione Mata'utia were jubilant following their first-up victories for the Kangaroos, spare a thought for young English centre Dan Sarginson.

Enjoying his first taste of Test football, much like the aforementioned trio, Sarginson could quite easily have been playing for the ‘Roos having been born in Perth.

With a Kiwi father and an English mother, the 21-year-old Sarginson spent the first three years of his life in Australia before heading to England.

As fate would have it though, Sarginson would return to his birth country to represent England over the weekend, something the Wigan Warriors three-quarter agreed was a surreal experience.

"It was incredible. The atmosphere was amazing. Obviously there were more Aussie fans so everyone got behind them but I couldn't wish for anything more on my debut, other than the win," Sarginson said.

"It is funny. Always growing up when Australia would beat England, my younger brother and I would pretend we go for Australia. There was a lot of banter there with it really.

"However I am a proud Englishman and to be out there wearing the jersey against Australia was special."

Sentiment aside though, England coach Steve McNamara didn't put the young centre in his team simply for the sake of irony. 

In fact, despite Michael Shenton's solid performance against Samoa last weekend, McNamara decided Sarginson's inclusion would lift the team and he repaid his coach’s faith with a try assist, 102 metres and 24 tackles. 

"There was no injury there. It was tactical," McNamara said of his decision to include Sarginson. 

"Those who watch Super League would have seen the form Dan was in come the backend of the season and you see his attacking qualities – his speed, his agility, his quick play-the-balls, his offload and tackle busts. We really wanted to go after Australia this week, we didn't want to sit back and I thought he was a perfect fit for that."

With McNamara informing Sarginson of his inclusion in the side early last week, the rookie hasn't stopped "buzzing"– mentioning the craziness of week and the persistence of his mother attempting to get her son's permission to tell others of his first Test cap.

"When I found out mid-week, my mum kept ringing me to ask questions. I couldn't sleep all week and I couldn't wait to get out there," Sarginson said.

"She kept texting me every day asking 'when can I tell everyone?’ because she said she wanted to be 'the proudest mum in the world'. I let her sneak it on her Facebook last night and she was over the moon."

Next stop for Sarginson is New Zealand, the birthplace of his father who lives there alongside a host of his family members he is yet to meet.

"I think my dad has booked plenty of tickets for next weekend in advance because they didn't want to come and then miss me play," Sarginson said.

"I think he bought around 20 so I'll have a little family base over there."

While he may be away from England, there is still a little bit of home entrenched in two of his international opponents. Regardless, there is no doubt where Sarginson's allegiances lie.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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