'Cheika got my UK number - I never gave it to him, didn't want to'
Tatafu Polota-Nau thought he had escaped the clutches of Michael Cheika.
But the Wallabies coach proved his investigative and negotiating skills were up to scratch, luring the English-based hooker home out of the blue for a potential third World Cup campaign.
“I was in good stead with the (Premiership Rugby club) Leicester preseason and all of a sudden my phone rings,” said 33-year-old Polota-Nau.
“Little did I know Michael Cheika got my UK number – I never gave it to him, didn’t want to, but somehow he got it.
“He asked if I’d come along and I said ‘sure why not, I’ll give it one last crack’.”
Noted scrummager Polota-Nau admits he wasn’t happy with what he thought was his farewell Wallabies form last year and it took some convincing from the coach to drag him back i nto the fold.
Knee surgery in the English off-season behind him, Polota-Nau rates himself a chance to feature at Suncorp Stadium and push younger hooking options like in-form Folau Fainga’a ahead of September’s World Cup in Japan.
“It ended with a sour note last season … I sort of thought it was my last with the Wallabies,” he said.
“I didn’t have the stamina I used to have, but that’s because my preparation wasn’t the best.
“It’s from my end just to see if I’ve still got it … give these guys (younger hookers) a run for their money.”
The Wallabies are unbeaten in their last five Tests in Brisbane but have won just two of their last seven Rugby Championship clashes.
Argentina are well-stocked with Jaguares talent that played in the Super Rugby decider and, despite losing their last six Tests, present as a genuine threat after their plucky win on the Gold Coast last year.
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