Curtis selected for England tournament
Southland's Byron Curtis is bracing himself for the opportunity of a lifetime when he heads to England in June to compete in the Students Rugby League World Cup tournament.
The 23-year-old Southern Institute of Technology student was told on Friday night he had been selected in the New Zealand team to compete at the tournament which will run in conjunction with the main Rugby League World Cup.
Yesterday Curtis admitted to still be a little stunned by his rise to the team.
He only found out about the team and the Students World Cup a few weeks ago when He Tauaa club stalwart Chris Perriam suggested he should try out for the team.
Trials were held a fortnight ago in Wellington and Curtis decided to take a punt and pay his own up to Wellington and have a shot. He said he wasn't sure he had actually done enough to make the team following the trip to Wellington.
"To be honest I wasn't that happy with how I went," he said yesterday.
"I had two little stints in the trial, the first one I wasn't as involved as I would have liked to be, the second one I tried to get as involved as I could. Even then I wasn't too confident so it was quite a surprise that I actually made it."
It is another accomplishment in what has been a golden 12 months for Curtis. First the centre had an outstanding season with the He Tauaa club being named the club's back of the season before he was named in the South Island Scorpions team and played in the national premiership competition.
"This is one of my first healthy seasons where I've made it through the whole season (not injured) and I guess there's been good opportunities and I've whatever I could."
Not surprisingly Curtis is looking forward to the 2013 club season to start and march towards the exciting trip to England for the Students World Cup.
The Students World Cup will also feature teams from England, Australia, Ireland, Russia, South Africa, Scotland and Wales.
While it is regarded a big achievement for a Southlander to make the New Zealand Students World Cup team it does come at a cost. The Bachelor of Sport and recreation student will now embark on trying to fundraise the $5000 required from each player to get to the event.
Meanwhile Southland District Rugby League president Teaukura Moetaua said the Southland club competition would start in April and would feature eight teams.
The seven teams that took part in the 2012 competition - Cooks, He Tauaa, Cowboys, City-Invercargill, Winton Warlords, Wakatipu Giants and Mataura - will be joined by new team Bluff.
- The Southland Times