Test call-up caps Young's magic ride - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Test call-up caps Young's magic ride

By Steve Jancetic 04/10/2010 05:17:19 PM Comments (0)

Most people look forward to a long weekend but not too many come bigger than the one enjoyed by new Australian squad member Dean Young.

In the space of little more than 19 hours starting Sunday afternoon, Young ended eight years of finals heartache as St George Illawarra stormed to their first NRL premiership before Test selectors rewarded him for his stellar finals form with selection in the Australian squad to contest the Four Nations.

On both occasions father Craig - who captained the last Dragons side to win a title in 1979 - was there to share the moment, the former Test prop delivering the selection news as Dean arrived in Wollongong with the remainder of his Dragons teammates to continue premiership celebrations.

"It's pretty mind-blowing to be honest," Young said of his selection, his only other representative jumper being a Country Origin call-up earlier this year after being named 18th man for NSW back in 2006.

"It's been a pretty hectic and unbelievable 24 hours that's for sure.

"We (Young and his dad) had a pretty special moment last night and for him to tell me that I might be playing in the green and gold, it's pretty special."

Young will likely come into consideration for a utility spot on the bench, with first choice hooker Cameron Smith and Wests Tigers rake Robbie Farah both ahead of him in the running for the No.9 jumper.

His ability to play lock and second row will no doubt boost his chances - with the likes of Luke Lewis and Greg Bird set to be his main rivals for a berth.

Told of Young's selection, Dragons coach Wayne Bennett's first reaction was to ask why representative recognition had taken so long.

"It's overdue and certainly deserved, I thought he should have been playing Origin this year," Bennett said.

"He'll bring a lot to the Australian team, he's very valued here I can tell you.

"Dean's your ideal team-mate - he's 100 per cent team and that's all he thinks about, he doesn't think about himself, he thinks about what's best for the team."

Portraying those characteristics, Young admitted selection in the Test squad was not even in his thoughts entering Sunday's grand final.

"My whole focus was the grand final and that's been my main focus all year," Young said.

"I was lucky enough to get picked in the country side this year and I got a lot of confidence out of that.

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