‘I’m still learning the game’ – Latu

Date published: September 26 2016

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Australia hooker Tolu Latu said he was surprised after his call-up into the Wallaby squad.

The young front-rower is eager to make the most of his second opportunity as the Wallabies tour South Africa to play the Springboks in Pretoria and then London to play Argentina at Twickenham. 

The 23-year-old hooker concedes he had an average run with the Waratahs this season, playing only four games in total, and said he was shocked to be picked ahead of Reds hooker Andrew Ready.

"Pretty surprising after the season Andrew Ready had with the Reds, so yeah pretty surprising to get the call up," he told the official Australian Rugby website.

"Hopefully the second time around lasts a bit longer than what I did last time."

Latu was selected in the Wallabies squad two years ago, but a broken arm put his prospects of a debut on hold.

"To be honest that was my first camp, that was my first year of professional rugby," he said.

"I was pretty fresh and didn’t really back myself to do a lot of things, and I was just happy to be there."

Confident he’s improved since his last stint with the Wallabies, Latu’s ready to keen to develop his skills alongside captain Stephen Moore and James Hanson.

"I’m still learning the game, so I’m still learning stuff that I can work on," he said.

"My set piece has gotten a little bit better but yeah there’s still a lot to learn for me, and hopefully I can learn from the other two hookers that are on tour too."

While Latu had a short season with the Waratah’s due to injury, he has obviously caught Cheika’s eye with his physical performance in the NRC for the NSW Country Eagles.

"He (Cheika) was just telling me that he was willing to take me onboard if I believed that I was ready. He just gave me good news," he said.

"I’m just trying to play consistent rugby. Trying to use that competition to kick start my pre-season for the 'Tahs, and it’s got me here so I’m pretty stoked."

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