Dane Gagai of the Knights is tackled  during the Round 6 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Friday, April 7, 2017. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dane Gagai of the Knights is tackled during the Round 6 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Friday, April 7, 2017. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY DARREN PATEMAN

Gagai in frame for Kangaroos selection

DANE Gagai probably wasn't even on Mal Meninga's selection radar a week ago.

And his form didn't warrant him being there.

Lack of chances with the football in the opening five rounds meant he had played only a bit-part for the Knights.

But he changed all that in the space of 80 minutes against the Bulldogs on Friday night.

In one of the more dominant performances from a centre this season, Gagai announced himself as a potential contender for Greg Inglis's Kangaroos jumper next month.

With 19 carries, Gagai ran for 248m against the Dogs, scoring a try and making seven tackle busts.

And he was not up against mug defenders.

Former Blues Origin centre Josh Morris did his best to keep tabs on Gagai but had his work cut out, as did brother Brett.

It was Brett whom Gagai pushed off embarrassingly in the second half to score a long-range try that got the Knights back into the contest.

But ask Gagai about daring to dream of making his Test debut against the Kiwis and he says his focus is only on club footy and helping to get his side over the line for another win after several frustrating close calls.

"The only way you put yourself in a position to be in those teams is to play good for your club," he said.

"So my focus is always for the Knights first and anything that comes off the back of that is a bonus.

"I would obviously like to represent my country one day but the focus is purely with the Knights and doing the best I can to put us in positions to win."

Gagai has a chance to further his claims when the Knights tackle the Roosters on Friday night.

He will have a potential match-up against youngster Latrell Mitchell, who was hauled off by coach Trent Robinson in the loss to the Broncos.

News Corp Australia


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