Man on a mission: Former Bronco eyes Wallaby bow
BRISBANE: Caleb Timu has packed plenty into his 24 years.
The former Brisbane Broncos league player is married with kids and has already served two years as a Mormon missionary.
Tackling the world's No.2 rugby team on his home track.
For a few years there it looked like the bullocking Reds loose forward would be starring on Suncorp Stadium in the 13 man game.
But the lure of another cross code star in Brad Thorn brought Timu back to rugby and, after surviving some serious injury scares, that decision looks set to pay off richly with selection for the Wallabies against Ireland on Saturday.
"I was at the Broncos out of high school, there for a couple of years in their 20s system," Timu said.
"So I learned a whole lot there and was blessed to play Origin 20s and be in a few of those rep teams which I learned a lot from.
"I went on mission for two years, no rugby at all, nothing, so I had to come back and train a lot to get in shape for Broncos pre-season.
"I was there for about half a year until I got a contract at the Reds and moved across.
"After my injury (a ruptured ACL at training in 2016), it's been a bit of an uphill battle, a rollercoaster.
"But to be here, where I am today, those things have helped shape who I am, helped me work even harder to be the best I can be, and to play at the highest level."
The Auckland-born, Brisbane-raised Timu said the decision to put professional sport on the backburner for religious reasons was a no brainer.
It was a matter of when, not if, he would take two years out to spread the gospel and there are certainly no regrets.
But what does a man on a mission actually do?
"For two years you're pretty much fully dedicated to serving the Lord and doing missionary work where you teach people, you walk the streets seeking those that are willing to learn about Jesus Christ and his church," Timu said.
"And so I was posted around New Zealand, I went to the Cook Islands and I think that helped me a lot, helped build the person I am today, through the experience of fully committing myself to my faith."
There is a strong Pacific Island and religious contingent in the Wallabies and Timu said his belief help put his rugby into perspective; good games, bad games, injury or health.
"It is a job but it's something that I've always wanted to do and that I love.
"My faith and family are obviously most important but I'm blessed to do what I love and to turn up every day doing something that makes me happy."
He's had injury battles again in 2018 but when on the park Timu has been outstanding for the Reds as a powerful ball running No.8 or blindside.
Pete Samu and Lukhan Tui are other options for those squad spots but Timu's name is expected to feature somewhere on Thursday when coach Michael Cheika unveils his 23 men to tackle Ireland.
Timu is one of five uncapped players in the squad and it has been a crash course with only one week to prepare to play the Six Nations grand slam champions.
"The cool thing that I felt when I came in is just how awesome the coaches are and how willing they are to help all the boys," Timu said.
"They know that you're learning a lot so it's just being open and willing to put in the hard yards to get everything down pat.
"The nerves will come but I've just got to deal with them."
With Michael Hooper and David Pocock making up two thirds of the starting loose forward trio, Timu will be tasked with delivering raw physicality in attack and defence.
But he is now feeling comfortable with the many rules and intracisies of professional rugby and wants people to know he is not just a crash and bash merchant.
Timu ran over Nick Phipps for a Super Rugby try last weekend but just as impressive was the vision and well weighted pass for an assist.
"I think being here with the Wallabies is just going to improve me and help me get to the next level, where I want to be - playing rugby at the top level consistently.
"That's something that I've always tried to work on, being an all round player, and using the ball and having those skills is something that I worked on as a young kid.
"It helps give you more options on the footy field."
That x-factor is something the Wallabies will need against the well drilled and cohesive Irish under canny coach Joe Schmidt.
Timu said Australia would try to use width to get around Ireland's condensed defence but that will all fall flat if the passes are off target and don't stick.