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Anae's joy at Wallaby call

07th August 2013 18:54

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Albert Anae at Reds training

Good call: Albert Anae

Queensland Reds front-rower Albert Anae feared the worst news when he saw a missed call from Ewen McKenzie, only to hear the best.

Anae has joined the Australian squad as injury cover for Tatafu Polota-Nau in the build-up to The Rugby Championship later this month.

Set to play for Bay of Plenty in a trial match against Manawatu, Anae has now linked up with the Wallabies and the 23-year-old can scarcely believe his fortune.

"I got a couple of missed calls and I returned the one that I knew (Horwill), he put me on to 'Link' (Ewen McKenzie)," said Anae to Fairfax News.

"I seriously thought I was in trouble for something. I was trying to backtrack (and think) what I've done wrong. I thought I was pretty sweet.

"It was humbling enough to put on this training shirt. There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of years behind me. You don't fluke this sort of opportunity.

"I was looking forward to the next nine weeks with Bay of Plenty. Long-term I was thinking about the end of year tour (to UK, Ireland and Italy). That was all my focus, I never thought I'd be here for this camp."

McKenzie, who has worked with Anae at the Reds, praised his versatility in being able to switch between playing prop and hooker, as well as his ability to adapt to the new scrum laws set to be introduced in the tournament.

"Albert is still young for a front-rower but his versatility is a real asset, while he also possesses the appropriate size and strength to adapt positively to the new scrum laws," added McKenzie.

"You're always searching for players with a lot of potential and Albert is a guy who will learn plenty from being part of the national environment."

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