Rebels recruit Nathan Charles is in the frame for Wallabies selection given the low hooker stocks.While he’s craving some sunshine after three successive winters, Melbourne Rebels hooker Nathan Charles is ready and waiting should he be required for Wallabies duty in June.
Charles arrived at Melbourne as injury cover only a week ago and found himself on the bench for their Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders last Friday.
The 29-year-old is planning a reunion with his Perth-based professional netballer wife Verity in June somewhere hot but will happily put that on hold.
With first-choice Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau playing in the UK and Rebels rising star Jordan Uelese injured, the race for the No.2 jersey for next month’s three-Test series against Ireland is wide open.
Charles could be a bolter to take on the Six Nations champions given his recent European experience.
Charles played four Tests for the Wallabies in 2014 with his Test career stalling after he ripped his pectoral muscle off the bone.
He would love another chance.
“I’ll always put my hand up if I get the opportunity,” he said.
“I was really upset with the way my last international game finished with injury.
“I still feel like I’ve got the ability to perform at that level.”
Charles said his time spent playing for Clermont in France and UK clubs Bath and Wasps had made him a better player.
“In Europe they use set piece as a weapon every opportunity they can and that takes some adjusting to,” he said.
“My knowledge of the game has improved because I have a different perspective and I’ve come back a happier player too.
“I really enjoyed my time on and off the field so all around I’m in a better place.”
While he still harbours Test ambitions, Charles said his priority was helping the Rebels snap their five-game losing streak when they take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.
“I think the boys will bounce back; they’ve got the players and depth,” he said.
“We all know how big a challenge it will be against the Brumbies but also how important it is to win these conference games.
“From the result they had against the Brumbies in the first round I think we can really go there and turn it on.”