Call-up puts smile on dial of Greg Eastwood

KIWIS forward Greg Eastwood is happy to be back in black after a frustrating 2013 season finished with him being relegated to a bit part player at the World Cup.

His father's death meant Eastwood missed that year's Anzac Test before injuries disrupted his season with the Canterbury Bulldogs, and the end-of-season trip to the UK brought further disappointment.

The 27-year-old (pictured) came off the bench in the Kiwis' warm-up game against the Cook Islands and in their second pool match against France, but was not called upon again in any of their remaining four matches.

"It's always disappointing, travelling with the team and not being able to make the side," Eastwood said.

"Especially to miss out on the semi and the final of the World Cup was really disappointing.

"I just wanted to work hard and try to get back in the team and I've done that."

The versatile back-rower/prop returned to the Kiwis side for this year's April Test and was at the forefront of the Bulldogs' finals revival, with several eye-catching displays throughout September convincing New Zealand selectors of his worth.

Earning a place back on the bench for tonight's Four Nations clash with Australia has Eastwood excited and he admits the strong competition for spots means he is pleased just to have been given the nod by coach Stephen Kearney.

"Wherever you play, just getting a spot will do me," he said.