Marcelo Montoya made his NRL debut in Dunedin against the New Zealand Warriors last Friday night and he is the first player with a Chilean background to play NRL.
Chile has eight domestic rugby league clubs, mostly around the south of the country and has been playing league for three years.
Chile is ranked 34th in the world and also has a heritage-based team in Australia which has been Latin American Nines champions for three straight years.
Montoya was born and raised in Fiji before moving to Australia at three years of age.
He comes from a diverse background with his father of Chilean descent and his mother Fijian.
“It was very special for me. I bet my family are very proud and I’m just very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given,” Montoya said.
"I think I was having an anxiety attack back at the hotel. I was very nervous, but I thought if I get in there for an early run I'd be alright."
The 21-year old local junior made his international debut representing Fiji at the end of the 2016 season. Playing on the wing, Montoya scored a try in Fiji’s victory over Samoa.
His unique NRL debut was a successful one, after he played a starring role with 101 run metres, one line break and his first ever try in the Bulldogs 24-12 win over the Warriors.
“It was very emotional. I got up and I saw Jacko (Josh Jackson) running towards me. He was screaming and I didn’t know what to do, but it was a good experience for myself.”
Montoya will once again line-up for the Bulldogs when they look to make to back to back wins against the manly Sea Eagles on Saturday afternoon. The match starts at 4-30 pm.
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