Former Queensland State of Origin forward Ben Te’o has completed a remarkable transition to rugby union by being named in the British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand.
The 30-year-old, who was part of the South Sydney side that won the 2014 NRL premiership, debuted for England in last year’s tour of Australia having qualified for his adopted country via his English-born mother.
His impressive performances during the recent Six Nations tournament have earned him a place in Warren Gatland’s 41-man squad against the land of his birth.
The selection caps off a circuitous career for Te’o, who moved to the Gold Coast from Auckland as a teenager after playing for the Junior Kiwis side.
In 2007 he made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers and was capped by Samoa 12 months later before returning to south-east Queensland with the Brisbane Broncos.
His move to Suncorp Stadium led to selection for Queensland in game three of the 2012 Origin campaign and he came off the bench five more times for Mal Meninga’s side in the next two series.
Te’o then enjoyed a successful two-year stint with Souths, where he helped the Rabbitohs end their long wait for a 21st premiership before announcing a move to rugby with Irish side Leinster before joining Worcester last year.
He exited the Rabbitohs for the 15-man game with Sam Burgess who joined Bath in a high-profile move.
His former housemate struggled and returned to Redfern after just a year having been made a scapegoat for England’s disastrous World Cup campaign on home soil.
But Te’o has flourished to become the first ever Worcester Warriors player to be selected for the Lions.