Kidwell hoping for triple treat

Melbourne Storm forward David Kidwell is preparing himself for what could be one of the most memorable weeks of his footballing career.

Kidwell is eyeing a trifecta of milestones this weekend as he prepares to celebrate his 27th Birthday tomorrow by playing for New Zealand in Friday night?s Anzac Test, before backing up for the Storm 24 hours later in what will be his 100th NRL match.

After initially getting a call up to the New Zealand side as cover for skipper Ruben Wiki earlier this week, Kidwell is now set to play in tomorrow?s Test match after Wiki was last night suspended for five matches by the NRL judiciary.

Despite facing the prospect of a triple celebration, the Storm lock is focused on making his first appearance for New Zealand in four years, before looking ahead to Melbourne?s clash with the North Queensland Cowboys a day later.

?They say things come in lots of three and that looks to be the case coming up to the weekend,? Kidwell said.

?Obviously the focus is on the Friday night match at the moment and if I get the chance to play and everything goes well, I?ll have a talk to (Storm coach) Craig (Bellamy) and I think I should be right to back up on Saturday night.

?To be honest the Birthday and the 100 games hasn?t been in the forefront of my mind because my focus has been on the Test match and whether I will play or not.?

The loss of Wiki has also meant that Storm captain Stephen Kearney is expected to move from the bench to the starting side in what will be his 45th Test match for New Zealand.

The Storm has selected an extended bench as insurance for Kidwell and Kearney should they not back up 24 hours later. A decision on Melbourne?s final makeup won?t be made until Saturday morning.

Kiwi selection would cap off a remarkable turnaround in fortune for Kidwell, who just three years ago was languishing with English Super League club Warrington.

Prior to arriving in Melbourne he had played with three NRL clubs and lost his Kiwi jersey, but despite finding himself out of favour with national selectors Kidwell always believed he would represent his country again. ?It was always one of my goals to get back in the Test team and fortunately with a couple of injuries and through Ruben being suspended, it looks like I might get an opportunity,? Kidwell added.

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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]