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Linc Port - 2016 Interstate Residents match - QLD V NSW at Suzuki Stadium, Coorparoo. 1.40pm Sunday May 8, 2016.   PHOTO: Scott Davis - SMP IMAGES.COM

At 25 years of age, it was the phone call Linc Port had been waiting his whole life for.

But when Storm coach Craig Bellamy called to offer the Cairns flyer a nine-week stint in Melbourne, he had to turn him down.

After lighting up the Intrust Super Cup with the Northern Pride and earning selection in the Queensland Residents team, Port's NRL dream came within reach as the stocks of Storm outside backs were decimated by injury through the middle of the 2016 season.

But after turning out for the Storm in this past weekend's Downer NRL Auckland Nines, Port was able to reflect on the difficulty of putting his NRL aspirations on hold.

"Mid-year they hit me up, but it was just work commitments, I just couldn't get away from work," Port told

“I was working as a windscreen fitter up in Cairns at the time and playing for the Northern Pride. I asked for a bit of time off and just couldn't get it off.

“I needed about nine weeks and it was just a little bit hard, he couldn't afford it and it was not a guarantee I would stick with Melbourne and I would have just come back and been a little bit unsettled if I didn't get anything.

“It was definitely a hard decision, I talked to my family and that and just weighed up maybe having another crack the year after.”

Now living in Brisbane and aligned with the Easts Tigers, Port was invited to spend some of the pre-season in Melbourne, a stint that was extended so that he could travel to Auckland and play in the Nines.

There are no guarantees a full-time contract will be forthcoming in the coming fortnight, but taking to the rugby league stage with an NRL club Port says is the highlight of his career.

"It's probably the highlight of my career at the moment," he said.

"I know it's only a small step in the right direction, but just to get here alone is a massive achievement for me and I feel like I can go a little bit further.

"I was a little bit down that I couldn't take the opportunity because it would have been a great start for my campaign this year, a little bit down by that – but they gave me another crack at pre-season and kept me on for a little bit longer so I'm just happy to be here.

"Hopefully I can get something out of this. I just think I need to work on the little things to go further with the Storm.

"They pride themselves on hard work and the one per centres. Just do the little things right and hopefully an opportunity comes knocking."

And if they do you can bet this time the answer will be different.

*This first appeared on

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