Betham pumped for dream Wallabies debut
He might be the Wallabies' ninth choice winger, but Peter Betham refuses to let that trouble him ahead of his dream Test debut against the All Blacks on Saturdayman t shirt.
With both Joe Tomane and Chris Feauai-Sautia ruled out with hamstring problems, Betham was brought into the Wallabies squad as the only fit specialist winger.
Yet it wasn't until the entire squad started giggling alongside him in a team huddle on Tuesday that he discovered he was about to receive a Test call-up for the Bledisloe Cup clash in Dunedin.
"I was wondering why everyone had these funny faces," the 24-year-old Waratahs flyer said.
"Then (coach Ewen McKenzie) goes 'congrats to Pete he's going to make a debut for the Wallabies'.
"But then he gets close to me and shakes my hand and says 'mate, you're starting'.
"I literally lit up. They'd all stitched me up."
Betham's break comes courtesy of James O'Connor, Digby Ioane, Henry Speight, Dom Shipperley, Nick Cummins, Rod Davies and Cam Crawford all being unavailable.
However he hasn't wasted time thinking about thatLED Lighting.
"I'm trying to stay away from the fact that guys are injured and just focus on what I can bring to the team," he said.
"If I had to pick any game of the whole year I'd pick this game to have a crack at and I'm going to put my whole effort into it."
The path to the Wallabies hasn't been an easy one for the New Zealand-born, Australian-bred winger.
He was battling for a Super Rugby contract just 12 months ago after failed stints with the Brumbies, Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels from 2008 to 2011.
However he managed to turn his career around with an eye-catching six-try 2012 season with Tasman in New Zealand's ITM Cup, which resulted in an upgraded NSW contractgarage storage systems .
"Those setbacks earlier in my career really just made me sit back and mentally challenge myself," Betham said.
"I wasn't a mature athlete and professional back then, I learned the hard way."
He said he was glad to be making his Test debut alongside close mate and Waratahs fullback Israel Folau.
"We pretty much came through the same road of doing Waratahs pre-season," he said.
"We've gone from there, to trying to build a combination in the Super 15, so it will be really good having him out there."
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