Castleford's Rangi Chase called up to England squad

Castleford Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase
Rangi Chase has never played for his native New Zealand

Castleford stand-off Rangi Chase has been called up to the England training squad ahead of the Four Nations.

Although born in New Zealand, Chase has now chosen to play for England, having qualified on residency grounds.

The Rugby Football League is in the process of confirming Chase's eligibility for the tournament.

"Getting selected for England will be my greatest honour," said Chase. "I want to do everything I can to help England achieve international success."

England take on Wales, Australia and New Zealand in the tournament.

Chase will join up with the squad this week as preparations continue for this month's Four Nationsexternal-link.

"It's excellent news that Rangi wants to play for England and commit his long-term future to our international programme," said England coach Steve McNamara.

"His presence will add great competition for places. I am really looking forward to working with him."

Chase, who came to England in 2008, signed a new contract with Castleford until 2015 last week, having proved one of the outstanding players in Super League this season.

"I have thought long and hard about the opportunity of playing for England after I became eligible to play," Chase added.

"I approached Steve McNamara and explained that I wanted to play for England and more importantly show my commitment.

"England, and in particular Castleford, is my home now and I want to lay my long-term roots here.

"I have an English girlfriend and signing a new contract with Castleford last week was a big deal for me. I don't want to play anywhere else.

"I have resurrected my life in England and feel more at ease here than anywhere else in the world. I spend all my time at home and don't go back to New Zealand in the off season."

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Giants forward Eorl Crabtree has had to withdraw from England's squad.

The 28-year-old will have an operation on a shoulder problem, which rules him out of the Four Nations.

England's first Four Nations match is against Wales on 29 October at Leigh Sports Village.

The final will be at Elland Road, Leeds on 19 November.