JAMAHL LOLESI has revealed he missed out on the chance of playing for New Zealand to undergo ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old Giants centre would have expected to be in the frame for the Kiwis for this autumn’s Gillette Fusion Test series against Great Britain after finishing Super League XII strongly.
But he went under the knife instead.
“Playing for New Zealand this autumn was never an option for me,” said Lolesi, ahead of Saturday’s first Test at the Galpharm.
“My priority at the end of this season was always to undergo the ankle surgery. Being picked for the Test series was something I ruled out myself.
“I was pleased with the way I finished the season, but getting into Test contention was the furthest thing from my mind.”
Lolesi added: “I wanted to finish the season strongly to help the Giants. That was all that mattered to me.
“I’ve loved every single minute of my time here so far, and I genuinely believe we can go on to even bigger and better things in the next few years.
“These are definitely very exciting times and, by having the surgery now, it means I’ll be fully fit for pre-season training. That’s the most important thing.”
Lolesi believes the Test series will be tight
“A full-strength Kiwi team would make it very hard for Great Britain, but they have a lot of injuries to key players, and that could hit them hard,” he said. “There are a number of inexperienced players in our squad, but I’m sure they will give a good account of themselves.”