Tossed up as a shock Kangaroos selection contender, Penrith veteran Peter Wallace aims to be at the Four Nations tournament in England one way or another.
The revitalised Wallace is set to cap an excellent NRL season after putting his hand up for Scotland in their Four Nations debut next month, three years after representing the Bravehearts in the 2013 World Cup.
“I’ve spoken to the coach, Steve McCormack, and said I’m available. But I’ll obviously have to wait and see when we finish up and see how we’re going,” Wallace told AAP.
However Wallace revealed his decision would also hinge on whether he gets a phone call from Australia coach Mal Meninga, who is likely to seek a back-up for hooker Cameron Smith.
With incumbent NSW State of Origin rake Robbie Farah currently without a club and Cronulla rival Michael Ennis retiring at the end of the year, Wallace has been mentioned as a possible understudy to Smith.
Sydney Roosters skipper Jake Friend, Brisbane No.9 Andrew McCullough and North Queensland counterpart Jake Granville are other options.
Meninga could also experiment with throwing Broncos halfback Ben Hunt or Roosters playmaker Mitchell Pearce in as a makeshift hooker.
But Penrith-born Wallace has played a critical role in the Panthers’ charge to the finals following his late career-shift from halfback to hooker, and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension in July.
And should he top it all off by pulling on the green and gold, Wallace couldn’t say no.
“Obviously Scotland’s my heritage, but Australia is my country. If I got the opportunity to play for Australia, obviously I’d have to go in that direction,” he said.
The 30-year-old qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother, and could join a squad that would also boast current NRL players Luke Douglas, Kane Linnett and Ian Henderson.
“Obviously rugby league’s not very big over there and the team they played in the European tour had a lot of locals. Just to get into Four Nations is a great achievement,” he said.
“It’d be nice to beat England. That’s the main goal.”