What was said and done remains a secret but England rugby new boy Ben Te’o has been welcomed by his teammates in a behind-closed-doors initiation.
The squad made the former NRL star welcome at the weekend during the team’s camp on the Gold Coast before Saturday’s opening Test against Australia in Brisbane.
Te’o is thought to be a strong chance to make his debut in the centres for the tourists at Suncorp Stadium.
It’s a remarkable rise for the 29-year-old, who quit rugby league in 2014 to play rugby union in Ireland for Leinster and is yet to feature for his new English club, Worcester.
England back-rower James Haskell said the bonding session had made him more aware of Te’o’s sporting pedigree.
“It was amazing to see his achievements,” Haskell said.
“I knew of Ben but I didn’t really know that he’d won three State of Origin titles and everything else like that.
“I didn’t know he’d played with (Sam) Burgess as well and that kind of stuff, played with Greg Inglis, so it was really cool for me to have a chat with him and that was the whole idea – to spark up a bit of conversation because some people just don’t volunteer that information.
“It was good to know what he’s about.”
Te’o sat out Monday’s training session due to an unspecified medical reason.
The former South Sydney and Brisbane Broncos star is expected to return to training on Tuesday and while defence coach Paul Gustard says no decision has been made, he’s confident Te’o is ready to go if picked.
“He’s got a calmness about him,” Gustard said.
“You can see this guy’s played top-level rugby and he’s comfortable with the ball in his hand.”