Mitchell Moses admits he wanted to play for Australia in Rugby League World Cup but gives his side “good chance” of beating New Zealand

In a World Cup praised for how many competitors to the trophy there is due to the fact those players with Tongan and Samoan heritage have chosen to represent these countries instead of Australia and New Zealand, there is one player set to represent the country of his heritage but was hoping to play for Australia.

This man is NRL Grand Finalist Mitchell Moses who at the Rugby League World Cup launch revealed that he only knew he was going to play for Lebanon when the squads were picked and admitted his preference was always Australia.

“Pretty much when the squads were picked, late on,” Moses said when asked about when he knew he’d be playing for Lebanon, “I had a couple of chats with Michael Cheika before. I was keen to play for Lebanon but my first preference was to play for Australia but obviously that didn’t happen.

“But like I said before, it means so much to play for Lebanon, it means so much to my family for me to put this jersey on and represent my family back home.”

He also revealed that he was getting texts from family members he didn’t know from Lebanon: “It happens a lot in the Lebanon community. I’ve found out that I have cousins that I’ve never seen before. It’s good to see, I know how much it means to them to see us represent them on a world stage.

“I got so much out of representing Lebanon at the last World Cup and what Lebanon got out of it too and obviously Lebanon are going through a tough time at the minute so if we can make them proud, hopefully we can do that.”

When asked if the quarter-finals were realistic for Lebanon, he said they were and also believed that Lebanon have “a good chance” of beating New Zealand in the opener: “Very realistic. We’ve got a tough game up against community and hopefully we can catch them off guard. We have some quality players so if we can compete against them in the effort areas we’ll give ourselves a good chance of beating them and making the quarter-finals.”

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