Chase 'shocked' by award
Tigers half-back did not expect to be named Man of Steel
Last Updated: 04/10/11 1:31pm
Chase: Was not expecting to be given Man of Steel award
Castleford stand-off Rangi Chase says he was "shocked" to be awarded the Super League Man of Steel award ahead of Sam Tomkins and James Roby.
The 25-year-old fought off competition from the Wigan full-back and St Helens hooker to claim the most prestigious individual award in domestic rugby league.
Chase came out on top after the closest poll yet of Super League players, who have determined the destination of the award for the last four years.
And he revealed that he was happy to merely be on the shortlist of three and was not expecting to be the overall winner.
"I was shocked. I wasn't expecting it, the way Sam Tomkins and James Roby had played this year. It's unbelievable for me," Chase said.
"I was overwhelmed to get into the last three. I said, 'that will do for me. If I do win, it would be an absolute bonus'. I'm over the moon.
"It's been a good year for me. I'm certainly getting better. I'm more mature as a player. This year was about being consistent, that was my goal and I think I did it. Next year I've got to set new targets.
"Hopefully my best is yet to come. I'll keep pushing myself and challenging myself to be a better player."
New Zealand-born Chase was given the award on the same day that he made a surprising choice to switch his international allegiance to England on residency grounds.
The former Junior Kiwi, who has recently played against England for both New Zealand Maori and the Exiles, gave further explanation for his decision at the gala dinner in Manchester.
"This is what I call home so I'm privileged to be in the squad," he said.
"I didn't have to think too hard about it. I came over here knowing that I'll never get picked for New Zealand. So that dream had gone.
"I thought I'd wait five years and then I found out it was three so I got in touch with Steve McNamara straightaway and told him my feelings about it.
"This is home for me now, I've settled down here now. By the time my contract is up I will have been here nearly 10 years. I can't see myself going anywhere else in a hurry."