Hiscox and Italy ready to go to the World Cup
RUGBY LEAGUE: It's been a long season for Gavin Hiscox, but like Pisa's famous tower, he refuses to crumble.
The years of toiling away for the CQ Capras are paving the way for for the colossus to book his spot in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Qualifying for Italy through his mother's heritage, Hiscox and his Azzuri team mates demolished Serbia 62-14 at the weekend.
A win against Wales on Saturday will seal their place.
Hiscox has represented Italy three times and toured England in 2013. He cruelly spent the majority of the tournament as 18th man, but now, at 28, it is his time.
"Obviously it is our goal as a squad to make the World Cup. But for me personally, I think it is just a great experience to play at a higher level," the bookend exclusively told The Morning Bulletin.
"To be able to represent my heritage and my mother is a great honour for me."
Inspired by former Canberra Raiders five-eighth Terry Campese, the Azzuri ran riot against Serbia. The Welsh are a different kettle of fish however.
"We went well and we were very dominant in the first half but we probably slackened off a bit seeing the game was already wrapped up," the Yeppoon Seagulls junior said.
"Wales are a quality team with a lot of experience so we can't afford to do that. We have to improve.
"As a group we have gelled really well and are great mates. We get to train together for another week so our combination should get stronger.
"To qualify for the World Cup will be a huge. We will be buzzing."
It's through Capras team-mate and Welsh international Ian Webster that Hiscox discovered he could play for Italy.
"I didn't know anything about the team but I saw that they made the World Cup (2013) as was talking to Webster about it," he said.
"Then I found out I was eligible and Ian contacted the coach Cameron Ciraldo and got the wheels in motion. Without him I wouldn't know about it."
Hiscox and Italy play Wales in Monza this Saturday.