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Chase remaining loyal to England

Date

Ian Laybourn

Proud Englishman ... Rangi Chase.

Proud Englishman ... Rangi Chase. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Amid the continuing uncertainty over his future, Rangi Chase insists there is no doubt over his loyalty to England, even if he returns to play in Australia.

The New Zealand-born halfback sparked a furore 12 months ago when he switched his allegiance to England, six months after playing against them for the Exiles, and he went on to play in all five autumn internationals for his adopted country.

The 2011 Man of Steel retained his place in England head coach Steve McNamara's elite training squad despite a disrupted season with Castleford and went on a recent 10-day high-altitude training camp to South Africa.

However, a groin injury sustained on the training camp has ruled Chase out of the forthcoming games against Wales and France and the next game he plays could be with his old club, St George Illawarra, as his future with Castleford continues to hang in the balance.

The 26-year-old has suggested cash-strapped Castleford would be content for him to leave, having agreed earlier this year to release him to join Hull, and he says would be happy to return to the Dragons but maintains there will be no going back on his decision to play for his new country.

"It's a good question because people doubt my commitment to England but I'm coming back here to live after rugby no matter what I do," said Chase, who is settled in Castleford with girlfriend Libby and became a father for the first time earlier this year.

"If something did happen, we'll be back because this has become my home. And I'll still be as proud and passionate as I am now to represent England. I feel strongly about that."

There could be a few twists and turns yet before the former Maori international is able to finalise his plans.

Chase's move to Hull fell through because of visa difficulties thought to relate to a court appearance in Sydney in 2011 and a snag arose over his proposed return to St George because of a dispute over who represents him.

His long-term manager Chris Orr claims he is owed money by his client and maintains he is under contract with him until next year but that is being disputed by another agent, France-based Greg Keenan.

Once that matter is resolved, Chase will be free to discuss personal terms with the Sydney club but he maintains that he would be happy to remain at Castleford if no move materialises.

Although relations were strained with the west Yorkshire outfit when he was suspended in June for breaking rules on drinking alcohol before a match, Chase has three years left on his contract and remains fond of the club.

"I fell in love with the town and the team and they're still close to my heart," he said.

PA

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