Tom Taylor will be hoping his boots arrive if he is required at Twickenham this weekend.
Fast asleep in his hotel room at 7am in Phuket, the last thing Taylor expected was a frantic knock at the door from his girlfriend's father telling him to pack his bag for London.
"He [girlfriend's father] opened the door and I was fast asleep. He said 'you're going to London'," Taylor explained his unique call-up after joining the All Blacks for the first time.
"I was like 'what's going on?"
The Canterbury first five eighths had no use for sprigs or a mouth-guard in Thailand, where he was enjoying a leisurely holiday after steering the red and blacks to the NPC title last month.
His mother was quickly alertred she needed to send his rugby essentials fast-post.
That solved one pressing problem, but when he touched down at Heathrow airport, Taylor discovered his attire wasn't suitable for the climate or purpose of his hastily-arranged trip.
Shorts, jandals and a singlet weren't ideal for London's wet winter weather.
"I rocked up to London with my shorts, singlet and jandals," Taylor said.
"Everyone was thinking 'who is this guy?' My mum has sent my boots, kicking tee and mouth-guard so she'll be right in a couple of days.
"Someone had to tell me that it was winter over here. I wasn't thinking about that. When I got here it was a bit of a shock. That's probably why everyone was looking thinking I was crazy.
"I'm from Christchurch so I'm used to this sort of heat."
Cell phone reception issues meant Taylor had friends, family and his Canterbury coach Tabai Matson trying to alert him Dan Carter was injured, there were doubts over Beauden Barrett's fitness, and coach Steve Hansen had requested he provide cover for the All Blacks.
"I didn't receive any calls for a while," Taylor said.
"There was a long line of people trying to get hold of me. "It's pretty exciting. It's pretty surreal for me at the moment I'm still soaking it all up and enjoying being here.
"It was the last day of my holiday so I was ready to go home. I was so excited. My family and friends back home have been giving me lots of support."
The 23-year-old had similar difficulty contacting his proud father Warwick.
The All Blacks' 1987 World Cup-winning second-five was on a golf trip.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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