Hoffman moved by visit to sacred site - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hoffman moved by visit to sacred site

Wayne Heming 01/02/2011 04:14:06 PM Comments (0)

A visit to his family's sacred burial site last year with his father Shane convinced Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman that playing for New Zealand meant more than a State of Origin jumper or playing for Australia.

"My dad took me to our sacred burial site last year (when we played the Warriors) and it really got to me," said the 23-year-old, who has struggled with his representative loyalties since taking over at fullback from Karmichael Hunt in 2010.

"I made my mind up straight away.

"It was extremely moving to experience something like that and to learn so much about your culture."

Hoffman's father, a former player himself, was born in New Zealand.

He moved to Mackay in his twenties where he met Hoffman's mother, Grace, who is of Torres Strait Islander descent and a blood relation to Wendell Sailor.

Knowing his boy was wrestling with such a tough call, Shane attempted to ease the pressure last August, publicly encouraging him to play for Queensland and Australia if that was what he wanted to do.

"I've told dad I want to play for New Zealand and he was stoked about it," said Hoffman.

"He had to ask me twice, just to be sure. He's as proud as a dad can be.

"He would have been happy whatever decision I made but I think it would be something special for him if I played in the black and white this year."

Under ARL rules, Hoffman would become ineligible for Origin and Australia should he represent New Zealand.

"I can't play Origin but with my mum being of indigenous descent and my dad from New Zealand, I hope I can play in the Indigenous All Stars for both of them," he said.

"I enjoyed watching Origin, watching the old greats when I was a kid.

"But growing up I never really dreamt about playing Origin, I always wanted to play for New Zealand."

Hoffman, who overcame an early season injury to be Brisbane's player of the year in 2010, hasn't heard from Kiwi coach Kearney about playing for Four Nations' champions New Zealand this year.

"Once the season starts and I'm playing some good footy hopefully I will hear from Stephen (Kearney) then, or I can ring him," smiled Hoffman.

Hoffman, meanwhile, has been having acupuncture for a groin injury but is confident of being on deck for round one of the season against the Cowboys on March 11.

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