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Frizell still stunned by dream 12 months

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Ian McCullough

Five years since paying for his own air fare to the UK so he could represent Wales in the Four Nations, life has moved on considerably for Tyson Frizell.

After reporting back for pre-season training with St George Illawarra late last year, the former Australian rugby schoolboys international, was merely hoping for an injury-free season following back surgery.

Fast forward 12 months, and the barnstorming back-rower has not only played for NSW but is on the cusp of winning a third international cap for Australia in Saturday's crucial Four Nations clash against New Zealand.

The unassuming 25-year-old also re-signed with the Dragons until 2020 and admits he's achieved more than he ever could have hoped for.

"Every player has their targets at the start of the season, Origin was probably something I hoped could happen," Frizell told AAP.

"I never in a million years thought I'd be playing for Australia."

It was only a suspension imposed on Wade Graham by the NRL judiciary that opened the door for Frizell to play for NSW in games two and three.

Two all-action displays that yielded tries in each game impressed Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga enough to select him in the PM's XIII to face PNG in September and the Four Nations.

It's all a far cry from his first taste of international action with the Welsh team in 2011 where his side were on the back of a 42-4 loss to England followed up by a 36-0 humbling at the hands of New Zealand at Wembley Stadium.

"I was just a young player making my way in the game and the players, who'd I'd never met before, made me so welcome they were great.

"Lee Briers was the captain, and I didn't realise he was such a massive player in the Super League. He was a real character.

"He was a very talented footballer. In training he was very professional but off the field he knew how to enjoy himself, he was great fun.

"Some of the boys were reminding me of the game we played against Australia that year.

"I missed it through injury but the Welsh boys were really up for it. We were 10-0 up after about 10 minutes but then the Aussies put 50 on us.

"I never could have imagined then that I would playing alongside guys like Cam (Smith) and JT."

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