Batley Bulldogs player Michael Ward has given up his job as a maths teacher to play in the Rugby League World Cup for Ireland.
The prop forward left his full-time role in an effort to earn selection for the Wolfhounds – and was recently named in their squad for the tournament.
Ward, 31, was in the Batley team that lost 44-12 to Leigh Centurions in the Championship play-off final on Sunday.
“It’s a really big honour for me,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“I’ve had to give up my job as a teacher to do it. So it’s an achievement of a lifetime.”
Ward is included in an Irish squad containing 11 players from Super League this past season and six from Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) competition.
Ireland are in Group C alongside Lebanon, Jamaica and New Zealand, with their first match against the Jamaicans in Leeds on 16 October, and Ward is keen to make an impact.
“I’m going to go and chase my dreams and hopefully get a few games in,” he said.
“The goal is the quarter-finals.” (BBC)