Not long ago Geroge Rose was told he would never run again.
AT the start of 2009 Manly prop George Rose wasn’t sure if he’d even manage to play one first grade game this season.
Trying to break into the defending premier’s top side was hard enough, let alone when the previous 18 months had been marred by injury.
A season of racking up the frequent flyer miles, playing with the Sea Eagles’ feeder team Sunshine Coast in the Queensland Cup, loomed for the portly front rower.
But a year can be a long time in footy and unlikely comebacks can happen. Like Rose’s stunning resurrection over the last few months, when he was one of Manly’s most dangerous forwards - form that elevated him to selection in the Australian train-on squad for the end-of-year, Four Nations tournament.
``It’s the last thing I thought was going to happen,’’ Rose told The Manly Daily yesterday, ahead of assembling with the rest of the Kangaroo train-on squad at the Sydney Football Stadium this morning.
``I didn’t really believe it for a while.
``It wasn’t until I spoke to the (Sea Eagles) team manager that I knew it was for real.
``It was a big shock ... at the start of the year I just wanted to get in the 17 and keep my spot.
``Now for this to happen is unbelievable.’’
You can’t blame the 26-year-old for being surprised. After all, it wasn’t that long ago Rose was told he would never run again after his shocking broken ankle sustained against the Storm in 2007.
``I was bed-ridden for a good couple of months ... I couldn’t get up and do anything,’’ he said of that difficult time.
``It was a long journey back, pretty tough.
``Even at the start of (this) year I was still trying to find my confidence playing footy again and running. I’m pretty amazed at where I am now.’’
Which is alongside the likes of Test stars Johnathan Thurston, Petero Civoniceva and Sea Eagles teammates Anthony Watmough, Josh Perry and Brett and Glenn Stewart in the green and gold. Rose said his selection in the train-on squad has helped slightly dim the pain from Manly’s shock elimination from the NRL premiership race over the weekend.
The Bathurst-junior believes the squad has missed a great opportunity for back-to-back titles and spoke of his helplessness as he watched the season evaporate as the Eels upset the Dragons.
``We thought we’d still be playing this week and were confident we would do well,’’ Rose said.
``We always bounce back strong from a loss. It’s disappointing it’s over ... we’ve missed a good chance. It always sucks when the result is out of your control.
``There was an empty feeling watching Parramatta run away with the game.’’
Rose was yesterday called into the Prime Minister’s XIII team to play Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on September 27. He joins Manly teammate David Williams in the squad.