Former NRL winger in shock at All Blacks' call-up

International
AAP
by AAP

Code-hopping winger Matt Duffie was scrambling to contact his travel agent on Monday after being named in the All Blacks' northern Test tour squad.

Expecting a pass from head coach Steve Hansen and his selectors, the Blues and North Harbour flyer had booked himself in for a well-deserved holiday in Rarotonga.

But instead of the Polynesian warmth, he'll now prepare for a chilly European autumn and the prospect of Tests against France, Scotland and Wales.

Despite a solid Super Rugby campaign and starring contribution for Harbour at the provincial level, the 27-year-old said he was shocked by the call-up.

"It's awesome, it's one of those things that you never really think is going to happen and you're lucky enough that it does," Duffie said.

Mat Duffie in his Melbourne Storm days. Photo :Getty Images"I'm very excited for the next month and what that holds. It's also nice for all the people who helped me along the way."

Duffie's selection is the culmination of a long-held dream.

He defected from rugby league and the Melbourne Storm at the start of 2016, privately hoping to push his way into an All Blacks jumper.

Pulling one on will also mean he becomes a dual international, having played for the Kiwis in 2011.

Duffie's achievement is all the more remarkable considering his horror run of injuries while at the Storm, including serious shoulder and knee problems.

But Hansen says he's satisfied his recruit has successfully navigated his fitness issues and is completely adjusted to the 15-a-side game.

"He's got a sense of maturity about him that I think will fit in very well with what we're trying to do at the moment," he said.

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