QUIRINDI’S Sam Carter is in line to join father Dave as a Wallaby after being named in the 32-man squad for next month’s three-Test series against France.
The 24-year-old ACT Brumbies second-rower was one of four debutants – three of them second-rowers – included in coach Ewan McKenzie’s first squad for the season.
Carter’s dad Dave played five Tests for the Wallabies, including tours to France and Canada in 1989.
Now the baton has been passed to Sam, also known as SOD (Son of David), the hard-working Brumbies’ lock who “puts his head in dark places” and rarely gets the accolades he deserves.
“I almost went deaf from mum’s screaming when I told her on the phone. Dad was pretty excited too,” Carter said.
“It feels pretty good. It’s very exciting news but hopefully I can get on.
“Everyone who plays rugby wants to play at the highest level. That’s my goal and getting the phone call was a dream come true.
“I knew if I performed consistently well that I’d have a shot.
“But, as exciting as it is, I have to focus on the Brumbies.”
Carter was informed of his selection on Wednesday night and was quickly on the phone home.
“When he rang we thought something was on,” Dave said.
Usually when he’s away touring he checks in by text.
“He’s very pleased and so are we,” he said.
As the news spread yesterday, he said there had been a lot of excitement and emotion.
“Making the first squad for the season is a pretty fair achievement,” Dave said.
“It’s always a good start. It’s not depending on injuries or anything.”
He said he’s not sure whether Sam will make the final squad but will, regardless, benefit from the experience.
“He was rewarded for his consistency and improvement,” he said.
The former number eight has seen his son’s game improve this season.
“He has lifted his intensity and physicality,” he said.
He’s also been used by the Brumbies a lot more in the lineout and has been making a lot of tackles – a fact that has often been remarked on during coverage of Brumbies’ games.
Tamworth’s Paddy Ryan missed the squad but is one of four players invited to train with the squad.
Carter has been called up beside fellow uncapped locks Will Skelton and Luke Jones following the loss of Ireland-bound Kane Douglas, France-based Sitaleki Timani and rising Melbourne Rebel Hugh Pyle to overseas clubs.
McKenzie has also overlooked France-bound 2013 captain Ben Mowen, but won’t name his replacement as skipper until gathering for the opening Test on June 7 in Brisbane.
“I made a decision that we have to look forward,” McKenzie said.
“We’ve made an investment in guys who are going to be around.”
But the coach has also given World Cup hope to previously discarded Wallabies, with Western Force duo Pek Cowan and Matt Hodgson given chances to reignite their Test careers after last playing before the previous tournament in 2011.
Workhorse flanker Hodgson has been a stand-out for the Force, but no-frills loose-head prop Cowan is a surprise – tipping out 66-Test stalwart Benn Robinson and Chief-turned-Rebel Toby Smith.