Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Tepai Moeroa was confirmed to play in the Prime Minister’s XIII against Papua New Guinea earlier in the week and the call up came as a complete shock to the 19 year old.
PM XIII Head Coach Ivan Cleary is viewing the match as an important selection trial for younger players looking ahead to the 2016 Representative matches and Moeroa says the clash is another stepping stone to his future goal, having previously been selected in an Emerging Blues Camp and Junior Kangaroos side.
“I am definitely proud. It is another stepping stone to where I want to be and it’s another step closer,” Moeroa said of the call up.
“I had no idea about the call up! I was just relaxing at home and got the call that said I was picked and I was a bit speechless and shocked,” Moeroa added.
“It was all out of no where!”
Moeroa battled through a shoulder injury during the 2015 Blue and Gold season, and whilst it affected his form early, the forward was able to manage the injury towards the back end of the season and would not be hindered for the clash against PNG.
“I thought my form was okay. I got off to a rocky start with a shoulder injury but towards the back end of the season I managed to find some form and consistency,” Moeroa said.
“I will be sweet to play against PNG. It is manageable but after the game I will look to see if surgery is the option and get it if needed.”
The PM XIII squad features plenty of young talent and Moeroa was looking forward to playing and learning from his new teammates and coach.
“You have players like the captain Trent Merrin, who has obviously played higher rep honours, but learning from them and gaining that experience definitely helps me to get to where I want to get to,” Moeroa said.
“It will be a good experience getting to play with these players, different players, different game styles and learning different styles will be good fun.” Moeroa added.
“I haven’t really had a chance to talk to him [Ivan Cleary] yet, but he knows what he is talking about and although he is a quiet guy, I’m looking forward to training and learning from him.”
At the conclusion of the Prime Minister’s XIII clash, Moeroa will have a few weeks away from the training paddock, spending time with family and friends before he returns for pre-season.
“During the season we are full on with training and you don’t get to spend too much time with family so I am looking forward to spending some time with them,” Moeroa said.
“I think Brad is keeping it pretty close to his chest but I can tell we are going to get a touch up!”
The Prime Minister’s XIII against Papau New Guinea in Port Moresby on Saturday, September 26.