Tolu Latu in action during Wallabies training.
Tolu Latu in action during Wallabies training.

Fourth choice hooker set for shock Test call-up

HE wasn't deemed one of the country's top three hookers when Michael Cheika named his initial squad but now Tolu Latu looks set to feature for the Wallabies in their opening Test against Ireland in Brisbane on Saturday.

Latu was officially added to the Wallabies squad on Wednesday as a replacement for Jordan Uelese, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last weekend.

The four-Test rake was initially ranked behind Uelese and rookies Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Folau Fainga'a but Cheika lavished praise on the out-of-favour Waratahs man.

Latu has been training with the Wallabies all week and has beaten Rebels hooker Anaru Rangi to the final squad spot.

"He's been out of favour at the Tahs for a lot of the year and he's coming back into favour a little," Cheika said.

"His two or three games he's played, I think he's had a good impact and he's been excellent since he's been in camp.

"He'll be banking on his last few games of form but also his previous games for the Wallabies and I'm sure he'll do well."

Cheika will name his team on Thursday and it looks like Latu will feature either as a starter or as insurance off the bench.

"Right now he's our most capped hooker in Australia, so he's got that little bit of experience playing in the big match atmosphere," Cheika said.

"Anaru Rangi has had a really good season with Melbourne too so he's definitely not out of the equation.

"I'm just keen for the two uncapped hookers to have a little experience around."