Harry Johnson-Holmes was just about to tuck into an $8 schnitty at Sydney’s Lord Dudley Hotel on Tuesday, when he noticed some, ultimately, significant missed calls on his phone.

When he returned the call, Johnson-Holmes was somewhat surprised to hear Wallabies coach Michael Cheika on the phone, telling him to pack his bags and travel to South Africa.

” A couple of days ago I was just finished Sydney Uni training, sitting down for $8 schnitty at the Lord Dudley hotel with my roommate, sat down, had a few missed calls, few messages here and there,” he said on Thursday.

“Ended up calling a number I didn’t have saved and it turned out to be Cheik.

“He told me to put down my knife and fork, stop eating the schnitties, get packed and get ready to come over and here I am.”

In  the early hours of Thursday morning (AEST), Johnson-Holmes was on the ground in South Africa and less than a day later, he was named in his first Wallabies squad.

Johnson-Holmes had an inkling that he was in the frame based on Cheika’s phone call but he said the whole experience was so frantic, he wasn’t sure if he had concocted that part of the conversation in his own mind.

“He mentioned it on the phone and it was so hectic at the time, I wasn’t sure what i had and what I had misheard and whether it’s a fragment of my imagination but he mentioned it on the phone so I was like, “I think I’m on the bench”, I’m still not sure if that’s true,” he said.

Johnson-Holmes had been training with the Wallabies’ extended squad in Brisbane in recent weeks and Michael Cheika said he was confident the 22-year-old could step up in the Test arena.

“The guy was sitting at the Lord Dudley, I think he was having a steak when I rang him a night and a half ago and now he’s here, he’s going to play a Test match,” Cheika said after naming his team on Thursday.

“I’m sure he’s going to do us proud because the energy he brings, he’s been in camp with us so he’ll be really good as well.

“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of guys and I think it’s more based on what we need from this game and what we’d like to achieve out of this game.”

While he is on the ground in South Africa now, Johnson-Holmes said he was still coming to terms with a whirlwind couple of days.

“It’s all numb at the moment, still trying to figure it all out and I’m sure I’ll only realise what’s happening when I’m stepping on the field if that happens. For the moment, I’m just cruising and taking it as it comes,” he said.

A trained singer, Johnson-Holmes joked he thought he might be asked to step in at anthem time as well as contribute on the footy field, but he might just have to settle for belting out Advance Australia Fair at Ellis Park.

I was hoping they’d maybe get me up on the podium to do some official guest singing of it, lead the boys out with the microphone but it’s looking less and less likely so I’ll just have to sing as loudly as I can from the lineup,” he laughed.

“It’ll be very special, though, I’ve been very proud to get that opportunity and to be able to sing that national anthem along with some childhood heroes at a stage like Ellis Park, it’s going to be pretty magical.

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