Trbojevic thrilled with Kangaroos call-up
Sea Eagles co-captain Jake Trbojevic was so sure he wouldn't be picked for the Kangaroos that he'd already booked himself in for surgery to have one of his knees cleaned out.
But that procedure will have to be postponed after the Mona Vale Raiders junior found out he had been selected in the Australian squad as a replacement for the injured Josh Papalii (ankle).
The 22-year-old had just finished a round of golf in Mona Vale when he received the call confirming his spot in Mal Meninga's 24-man squad for this weekend's trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand as well as the upcoming Four Nations tour to the UK.
It completes a dream 12 months for the former Holden Cup Team of the Year member who has played 47 matches for the Sea Eagles since making his debut in 2013, as well as earning two caps for the Prime Minister's XIII side.
"Growing up as a kid I wanted to play first grade for Manly – and I got to do that – and now if I get to play for Australia then that will be awesome," he said.
"I have to pinch myself sometimes because it's been a pretty cool year for our family. Tom (his younger brother, and fellow Sea Eagle) had a good year as well so it's been really cool. This has capped it off.
"It's obviously very exciting to get the call and I'm really looking forward to it. It should be a great experience. There are lots of great players in the side and I'm just looking forward to learning a lot and enjoying it.
"I'll learn from the players that are there. I've never been over to England so that will be awesome.
"It's a 24-man squad so it'll be tough to get a game, but I'm just looking forward to getting there and enjoying the experience, and if I do then that will be awesome."
Trbojevic's inclusion in the Australian squad caps off a dream week for he and Tom, with the siblings inking contract extensions to keep them at Brookvale until the end of 2020.
Tom – believed by many to be a Kangaroo-in-waiting – was on hand to drop his brother off at the airport; his moon boot a clear indication that he was never a chance to be picked for this tour.
"We've always loved Manly and playing for Manly," Jake said.
"The club is going in a really good direction. Obviously this year wasn't the best year, but we've got a great coaching staff and some great players there so it's great to be there for a few more years.
"Hopefully we can enjoy the success that they've enjoyed over the last decade."