Banned Kiwis forward Kevin Proctor wanted to switch allegiances and play for Scotland at the Rugby League World Cup - but did not meet the eligibility criteria.
Ahead of tomorrow's World Cup clash between the Kiwis and Scotland in Christchurch, the Herald can reveal Proctor approached the Scotland Rugby League about the possibility of representing the Bravehearts, but was denied when investigations into his heritage found his Scottish links were too far removed.
The 28-year-old Gold Coast Titans backrower was set to play a key role in New Zealand's tilt at the World Cup before he and former Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich were caught on CCTV snorting cocaine in the early morning hours after the Anzac test defeat to Australia in Canberra in May.
Both players were suspended and fined by their NRL clubs before Kiwis coach David Kidwell banned them from World Cup selection.
With the door to the Kiwis camp closed, Proctor tried to keep his World Cup dream alive after chatting to his father about his family's Scottish background.
"We looked into it," confirmed Proctor's manager Chris Orr.
"Kevin thought he might be able to do it but it worked out that it was too far back - his great-great-grandfather was Scottish, so he wasn't able to pursue the opportunity.
"We approached Scotland to see if they were interested and of course they were but when we asked a couple of questions and drilled down into the background of his heritage it was too far back."
The matter raises questions about Proctor's feelings regarding the punishment handed down to him by the New Zealand Rugby League and whether he has further ambitions of pulling on the black and white jumper in the future.
Orr says the lure of a World Cup meant Proctor was keen to explore any chance of playing in the tournament, but insists he would love to add to his 17 Kiwis test appearances.
"He understands the reasoning and everything behind [the ban]. He's not making any excuses here and he's never said a bad word about anything and he's never expressed any anger or disappointment.
"He understands the ramifications of his actions and the bottom line is he has moved on.
"Every player wants to play in the World Cup, that's a once every four years' experience.
"If he gets a chance to represent [New Zealand] again he'll do it to the best of his ability."
Had Proctor satisfied the international eligibility criteria the situation would have left World Cup organisers in an awkward position.
But there are no rules to prevent Proctor appearing at the tournament if he was eligible for another nation.
"We didn't get to that stage because the first element with any player who expresses interest is to check their eligibility," explained Scotland Rugby League chairman Keith Hogg.
"Because you get quite a lot of players saying that they're eligible and in fact when you check, they're not. He's not eligible so we didn't get any further than that."