The likes of Will Genia, Quade Cooper and David Pocock represent the Wallabies.
Yesterday at Coogee Oval, less than a decade after playing juniors for the Maitland Blacks, Nic White was stepping up to train alongside them as Wallaby teammates.
The ACT Brumbies halfback was living the dream after being selected in the 39-man Australian squad ahead of Tuesday’s Test match against Scotland at Hunter Stadium.
But once White was over the initial nerves it was down to business for the 21-year-old, who spoke to the Mercury shortly after coming off the paddock.
“It was surreal to start with but after the warm-up it was just like another training session,” White said.
“But for a short period it was pretty exciting just being there and I was trying to take it all in.”
Easier said than done for White, who is not only a chance of making his Wallabies debut in less than a week’s time, but he could do so in front of his home crowd.
Tuesday’s match will be the first rugby union Test played in the Hunter, the same place White was born and bred.
“It really would be a dream come true,” White said.
“Given a chance to debut for the Wallabies anytime would be great, but to do it at home would be unbelievable.
“But I have got a couple of jobs to do before that and I’m hoping to do everything I can to put myself in the right position to give myself the best chance at doing that.”
Part of that job will be against Nick Phipps in the Victorian capital tomorrow night as the Brumbies clash with the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby competition.
White rejoined the Brumbies last night and will go head-to-head individually with fellow number nine and Wallaby squad member Phipps for the spot as Genia’s deputy.
“There is no hiding that this game and our performances will be pretty influential for who gets the spot behind Will [Genia],” White said.
“So it is a big game for myself and a big game for Nick [Phipps], but it also a big game for the Brumbies as well and it will be important to get a win up before the June break.”
Following the game White will return to Newcastle for Sunday’s naming of the Wallabies final 22.
A week earlier and it was a proud moment for White, and his family back in Ashtonfield, when he received the national call up on Saturday night following the Brumbies narrow Super Rugby loss to defending champions the Queensland Reds.
“It wasn’t a call but after the game [Brumbies coach] Jake [White] had envelopes and he said this might cheer the mood up,” he said.
“It was all the blokes who had made the Wallabies and it was good to be recognised as a group.
“I was disappointed about losing to the Reds but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.”