Western Force centre Kyle Godwin is a surprise choice for the Wallabies 30-man squad for their clash with South Africa at Patersons Stadium next month.
Today’s call-up is a bolt from the blue for the homegrown 22-year-old who has not played since injuring his knee in the Force game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in May.
Before his call-up this morning Godwin was simply looking forward to playing for Perth Spirit in Sunday’s National Rugby Championship clash with Brisbane City at McGillivray Oval.
“It’s still sinking in to be honest,” he said.
“Foles (Force coach Michael Foley) told me that I’d been selected, it was certainly a surprise.
“It’s obviously a great feeling and I’m very thankful to Ewen for the opportunity.
“It’s a great chance to learn a lot off a squad of experienced and senior players, and I’ll certainly be looking to put my best foot forward.
“However, given I’ll be playing my first game in four months this weekend, my focus is very much on Sunday’s match for the Perth Spirit.
“The guys did a fantastic job in Canberra last weekend and it’s up to us to keep that momentum going against a quality Brisbane City line-up this week.”
Godwin had twice previously been on the verge of Wallaby selection before being hit by injury.
Last year he needed a shoulder reconstruction and missed the European tour, this season he was ruled out of the French series with the left knee damage.
He will be joined by Force teammates, hooker Heath Tessmann and prop Tetera Faulkner, who have been invited to train with the squad in Perth.
There are three other Force players already in the squad, flanker Matt Hodgson, No.8 Ben McCalman and prop Pek Cowan.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said he had been disappointed not to have been able to pick Godwin previously.
“Kyle is someone who has been on the national radar for some time, but unfortunately hasn’t had much of an opportunity to join the Wallabies environment due to injury,” McKenzie said.
“He now gets his chance to join the squad, and we’ll look forward to learning more about him.”
NSW hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau re-joins the group but will not be considered for selection for the September 6 Test as he recovers from a knee injury.
His availability will be reassessed for the following week’s clash against Argentina on the Gold Coast.
McKenzie said it would be important for the squad to respond to the disappointment of their loss against New Zealand when they come into camp in Perth on Sunday.
“We don’t hide from the fact that our performance against New Zealand was well below our own expectations, which was especially disappointing considering the momentum we had created since last year’s Spring Tour. We’ll address that and then get on with preparing for what will be a very tough battle against South Africa next Saturday night.”