Like a kid on Christmas morning, there was no way Queensland Reds centre Hunter Paisami was having a sleep-in on Sunday.
Knowing calls were being made to those selected in an extended 44-man Wallabies squad for upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship matches, Paisami was up early in anticipation.
“I was up at six in the morning waiting for it,” the 22-year-old said.
That early start wasn’t really necessary, with Paisami forced to burn off nervous energy around the house before getting the call he wanted from Wallabies assistant coach Matt Taylor.
“I got it around nine (am),” Paisami said.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 13, 2020
“I was just cleaning up the house and looking at my watch.
“Didn’t expect it this early. Just blessed and grateful.”
The Wallabies call-up capped a big 24 hours for Paisami, who played a big role in Queensland’s 25-13 Super Rugby AU semi-final win over the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.
First-half injuries to centre Jordan Petaia (concussion) and winger Chris Feauai-Sautia (groin) meant Paisami came off the bench to play 50 minutes against the Rebels.
With Petaia and Feauai-Sautia in doubt for Saturday night’s grand final against the Brumbies, a season which looked wrecked when Paisami suffered an MCL tear in his knee last month may yet in glory for the former Rebels player.
Starting or once again coming off the bench, Paisami said he’s ready to play his role as the Reds aim to upset the Brumbies in Canberra.
“I’ll be happy to try to do my job. Whether it’s minutes, seconds, I’ll just try to make the most of it,” he said.
“I’m pretty keen. I’m pumped.”
– Ed Jackson
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