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New Roosters deal looms for Kiwi rookie after injury 'torture'

Zane Tetevano can expect a new Roosters deal in the mail and a Kiwis call-up nine months in the making after a ruptured biceps muscle in the 2018 grand final cost him the chance to represent New Zealand last year.

NRL.com understands the premiers and Tetevano's management have held discussions around a two- or three-year extension for the quiet achieving prop who played every game of the Roosters' title-winning campaign.

Tetevano's season ended in triumph and "torture" when he ripped his right biceps midway through the Roosters' dismantling of Melbourne.

He didn't know at the time, but New Zealand coach Michael Maguire had Tetevano pencilled into his UK touring party until the injury, and has since named him in his 19-man squad for Saturday's mid-season clash with Tonga.

No wonder Tetevano wears an ear-to-ear grin as he explains the "pop" and gruesome sight of his biceps going walkabout on grand final night.

"I heard an actual pop but I kept going on adrenaline," Tetevano told NRL.com.

"It was in the second half and I tackled Christian Welch around the hips but I had a bit more of a swinging arm, and I just remember it popping.

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"I took a carry afterwards and I had no grip. It was like my hand was someone else's. That's what worried me, I just had no control over my right hand.

"I looked down and I noticed my biceps was not in the right place, instead of being near my elbow it was up at my armpit.

"I called our trainer over and he goes 'yep, you've ruptured that, you've got to come off'."

For the next two months Tetevano's right arm was kept rigid and bent at 90 degrees in a brace, making for a particularly uncomfortable off-season.

He has returned to the paddock with the form that has made him a staple of Trent Robinson's team since 2017.

Now with a Test debut on the horizon and the Roosters and Tetevano keen on keeping him at Bondi, the 28-year-old has made every post a winner since coming back to the game.

Tetevano's brush with rugby league oblivion has been well documented, when a nine-month suspended jail sentence for domestic violence charges made footy the last thing on his mind.

When Robinson first came calling with a cut-price contract, sweetened with potential match payment bonuses, Tetevano still wasn't sure if he wanted to dive back into the all-encompassing NRL world.

"I look back at all that, and I just think it's the hard work you have to do, the lessons you have to learn along the way," Tetevano said.

"You've got to go through the system and even now though, you can't sit back on your laurels. You've still got to work hard and keep trying to achieve new things."

Of his delayed call up for New Zealand, he is still lost for words.

"I don't even know how to explain this," Tetevano said.

"It's like being a kid again. I grew up a staunch Kiwi supporter and loved watching the Tests.

"I found out after the grand final that I would've been there on that tour. But I did stop and appreciate it even then. It was cool to even be acknowledged in that way, being in the frame for Kiwis.

"It was a bit of a setback but it was a bit of encouragement during my recovery.

"If I get to play on the weekend it will be such a privilege."

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