Faulkner phones home ahead of third Test

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Tetera Faulkner will be looking to transform an opportunity against Argentina into a regular spot in Michael Cheika's best 23, in his first Test since 2014.

The Kiwi-born prop has been called into the squad in place of Tom Robertson, a chance that, at first, seemed surreal to the 29-year-old.

"Obviously it is surreal," he said.

"2014 was the last time I played, against Ireland, I still remember that moment, but to play against Argentina this weekend is something that I have worked quite hard for.

"It's surreal, I couldn't believe it and I'm pretty excited."

Faulkner quickly shot a text to his wife, Ashley, to tell her the exciting news and much to his surprise, he received a text in response, despite it being the middle of the night in Perth.Faulkner has earned a call up through solid form with the Force all season. Photo: Getty Images"It was 11 or 12 at night, she was fast asleep with a newborn," he said.

"As soon as I texted her she texted right back.

"(She was) super excited and as she said, '14 was the last time you played, take this one with both hands and really enjoy it'."

That's exactly what Faulkner intends on doing, with a clash against his native country right around the corner.

"That would be huge," Faulkner said of the potential clash with the All Blacks.

"They’re obviously the number one team in the world and we that’s where we want to be - we want to be there.

"If I do get that opportunity it would be huge and my family are All Blacks supporters so to get one up over them and rub it into them would be exciting."

Faulkner will be handed the task of improving a finishing group that fell short of the mark in Bloemfontein.

"We’re expecting their set piece to be on point," he said.

"When you say Argentina, it’s scrum and lineouts so that’s what we’re expecting.

"Their backs - they’ve got the fast backs out the back and they’ll attack from everywhere so that’s what we’re expecting."

The Wallabies face the Pumas in Mendoza on Sunday morning, kicking off at 9:40am AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.