BEN Te’o believes his selection for the British and Irish Lions has justified his decision to leave Australia and switch codes three years ago.
The Auckland-born ace moved to rugby union in 2014 having previously played at the highest level in league and starred for Wests Tigers, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Te’o also represented Samoa at international level.
“To be picked for the Lions feels awesome,” said Worcester Warriors centre Te’o, an England international in union.
“It makes me feel the path I chose to take and the reasons I left (league) are why I am here now.
“It makes me feel good that I made the decision to go.”
Te’o’s parents still live in New Zealand and will no doubt be keen to watch the centre in action for the Lions in their homeland this summer.
“They are just proud I chased what I felt was right and that was to play rugby union,” he said.
Te’o, who joined Warriors last summer, admits the Lions will be facing a tough task against the All Blacks in the three-match Test series.
The All Blacks are the top ranked team in the world and have an historical stranglehold over the Lions.
In fact, the Lions have won just one Test series against the All Blacks in 11 tours - a 2-1 triumph in 1971.
“The All Blacks are the number one team for a reason,” said Te’o.
“It’s going to be a very physical Test series and a hard task but I am sure all the (Lions) players who get the chance will do a good job.
“Two weeks ago, I wasn’t really thinking about the Lions because I didn’t think I was in the realms of making it.
“In the last two days, however, I have been really nervous due to the speculation and it would have hurt me if I hadn’t been in the squad.
“I had been putting in a lot with England.
"I was quite focused towards England's Argentina tour and that’s obviously what I had been expecting and perusing.”
He added: “I didn’t expect this.
“It was a bit of surprise and it wasn’t until a couple of days ago when people were sending me links to articles.
“I was trying not to get excited about it. It was making me nervous but I am now glad it has been decided.”