Josh Mann-Rea is one of the most remarkable comebacks stories in Super Rugby. Having given up on the game, he went to work in the coal mines in the Illawarra region of NSW and a gold jersey was almost certainly beyond Mann-Rea. But an opportunity arose in Japan, then one with the Waratahs and another with the Brumbies and before you knew it, ‘Bongo’ was being honoured at pubs and bars from Narromine to Bronte, from Tokyo to Bruce. Mann-Rea’s first start for the Brumbies was a celebration in itself, with his side easily accounting for the Force 47-25 to charge into the 2014 Finals Series. He started another two games at hooker in 2014, including the Brumbies’ entire Finals Series campaign before being called into Ewan McKenzie’s Wallaby squad to contest The Rugby Championship. Mann-Rea’s first nation selection didn’t result in any minutes against the Springboks in Perth, but he didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity, coming on with 20 minutes to play against the Pumas in Argentina before making another appearance against the All Blacks. Mann-Rea was subsequently selected on the Wallabies 2014 Spring Tour and made his final appearance of the season against the Barbarians at Twickenham.