New Zealand new-boy Ross Filipo is delighted his decision to shun Samoa has paid dividends.
The 28-year-old Wellington and Crusaders lock resisted the call of his parents’ homeland when All Black legends Michael Jones and Pat Lam courted him for roles with Manu Samoa and the Pacific Islands respectively.
And the Kiwis’ second row crisis, which saw Ali Williams and Keith Robinson follow James Ryan and Jason Eaton to the treatment room last week, has opened up spots for Filipo and Junior All Blacks partner Greg Rawlinson in the squad for Saturday’s Test against Canada.
"I did consider going with Samoa this year and it almost came to fruition at one stage," he told The Dominion Post.
"I’m in my late 20s and you start thinking about options, whether I should go to a World Cup or not.
"I’m glad I held out because I’ve always wanted to be an All Black. I’m glad I didn’t give up on my dream.
"It’s just bad luck, but one man’s bad luck is another man’s good fortune… and if you give me an inch I’ll take a metre."