Dane Gagai found it tough to keep it secret that he was going to be debuting for the Kangaroos, so he didn't. The incoming Rabbitoh called up his family to tell them the news but stressed the importance of 'keeping their mouth shut'... unlike himself.
Gagai, who got the nod ahead of Manly's Tom Trbojevic and Penrith's Josh Mansour, was rewarded for a stellar State of Origin campaign in which he won the player of the series award.
"It got announced the other day in one of our meetings," Gagai said of his selection.
"I called up the family to tell them the news but told them to keep their mouths shut and not leak it yet. Obviously I told the important people and have been their my whole life and career which is my family. It was tough keeping it a secret. You just want to sing out and let everyone know. It's out there now.
"It was a surreal moment. You dream of representing your state and country as a kid to be able to do that is a dream come true. I'm going to be looking to go out there and do everything I can to not let the boys down."
Gagai will make his first appearance for the Kangaroos in a vulnerable looking squad that will miss the likes of Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Darius Boyd.
The opening game of the Rugby League World Cup is only days away and fans around the globe are spoilt with a blockbuster opener between Australia and England.
Australia announced three debutants for their clash with the old enemy with your new Rabbitoh, Dane Gagai set to make his debut on the wing.
“This is obviously a very important game in the context of the Rugby League World Cup and this squad of players reflects that,” Australian Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga said.
“Dane had a tremendous State of Origin series and deserves to play for the Kangaroos and it will be great to see him in the green and gold.”
Gagai becomes the 816th Kangaroo and is joined by Sharks backrower Wade Graham (817) and new North Queensland Cowboys recruit Jordan McLean (818).
Dane Gagai joins a long line of Rabbitohs players to don the Green and Gold and will be looking to repeat this sort of effort set by former Souths centre Mark McGaw against England back in 1990.