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Melbourne Storm centre Matt King has capped off a remarkable 2005 by being selected in the final 23-man squad to take on New Zealand and Great Britain in the 2005 Gillette Tri-Nations Series beginning on October 15th.
King?s rise to national team selection has been nothing short of phenomenal. In the space of three years, King has gone from barman and garbage collector, unsure of whether he wanted to play rugby league again, to New South Wales State-of-Origin player and Australian representative.
?It?s massive,? said King.
?I thought Origin was pretty big but this is obviously the highest achievement you can get and I?m looking forward to it.?
Given King?s recent history, even he didn?t expect he?d ever get to wear the green and gold of Australia.
?I gave up the dream of playing for Australian when I was about ten or twelve years of age,? said King.
?I got an Australian jumper for my 12th birthday and I thought that was pretty massive, but to be going on tour with the team will be huge.?
During the 2005 State-of-Origin series, King was a stand-out player in a star-studded line-up. He capped off a wonderful series by scoring a hat-trick of tries in Game III to lead the Blues to a series clinching 32 ? 10 win over Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
Blues coach Ricky Stuart had no hesitation in awarding King the inaugural Brad Fittler Medal, awarded to the player who contributed most to the New South Wales? series win.
King?s efforts for Melbourne Storm in 2005 were also sensational, scoring 13 tries in his 23 games for the year, including a try in each of the Storm?s final?s games.
As is the way with King, he knows there is still a lot of work to do before the Tri-Nations Series begins.
?It?s a big achievement, but I still have to get in the starting team yet so there?s still some work to do.?
The first game of the Tri-Nations Series is against New Zealand at Telstra Stadium on October 15th.