A picture of Wallabies debutant Jed Holloway has shown just how much his maiden cap for his nation means to him in emotional scenes after full-time.
The 29-year-old was named to start for the Wallabies and played 59 minutes in Australia’s 41-26 comeback win over Argentina.
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It was a tough match for Australia, who had to play without inspirational skipper Michael Hooper who pulled out of the tour, and Quade Cooper after he ruptured his Achilles in a horror injury.
But although the Wallabies comeback didn’t begin until after he was substituted out of the match as Australia bounced back from 26-17 down to pile on 24 points in the final 18 minutes after Matias Alemanno was yellow carded, Holloway wanted to soak it all in.
After full-time as the stadium started to thin out, Holloway was still on the field sitting by himself on the turf.
SMH’s Iain Payten posted an image of Holloway’s moment to social media.
It was also clear how much it meant to him after the match when interviewed by Stan Sport.
Asked to describe the feeling of his first match, Holloway struggled to get the words out.
“It’s unreal man,” Holloways said. “Something that … has … I knew this was going to happen. I told my missus it was bubbling up and I knew it was going to come out at some stage.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice gone into this, although I wasn’t perfect tonight, I enjoyed the moment and very stoked I, one, got to run out there but also got to share it with a really good friend of mine Matt Gibbon.”
The blindside flanker said it had been a long road to get his first Wallabies jersey in an emotional interview.
Holloway was cut by the Waratahs in 2020 after 58 games, and wound up in Japanese rugby.
But he “cut bait” with Japan and went to the US to meet his child for the first time.
He was then offered a lifeline by the Waratahs this season and the rest is history.
Holloway said it was the support of his wife which made his debut possible.
“It was a long shot because I still believed in myself and she believed in me no matter what,” Holloway said. “She’s American, and for her to back me on that, I’m just very proud I can stand here and make her proud tonight and make my family proud and all the people I represent.”
Adding even more fuel to the fire, Holloway was meant to debut in last month’s series against England but was sidelined with a calf injury.
“It’s pretty surreal,” the 29-year-old on Friday. “Something last year I thought would never come. There was a little setback, but it wouldn’t be a part of my journey if I didn’t have a setback.”
Asked what he enjoyed the most, Holloway said it’d been a great atmosphere and thanked the Argentinian fans.
“Even now standing here 15 minutes after the game, there’s 300 people in front of me yelling for my shorts — I’ve already lost my socks and my boots,” he laughed.