Jarrod Sammut paid his own way to Australia to play for Malta, it has been revealed.
The Maltese rugby league says the Wigan half-back self-funded the 22,000-mile round-trip to represent his heritage.
“The things you do for your heritage," said Sammut. "This team means a lot."
Sammut was man of the match in a victory against Italy - just 24 hours after arriving Down Under - and faced Turkey before returning to the UK, where he will face Wales on November 23.
"Wigan Warriors need to be commended for releasing Jarrod to play. Their management and coaching staff were very supportive," said a Maltese RL spokesman.
"The International game needs to see more of the elite players made available to represent the Emerging Nations."
Sammut has been linked with a move away from Wigan in the off-season after failing to nail down a regular spot.
Former club London Broncos are among those thought to be interested.
The Warriors have several fringe players who are under contract but may leave in the winter. Morgan Escare finished last season on loan at Wakefield and could depart, while fellow Frenchman Romain Navarrete didn't make the side during the play-offs.
Wigan will also have congestion for wing spots with Dom Manfredi and Tom Davies returning from injury, joining Liam Marshall, Joe Burgess and Bevan French.
Rumours circulating at the weekend suggested Catalans may rival Leeds in considering a move for Davies, even if on loan.