Greg Peterson grew up with dreams of being a Wallaby, not playing against them.
Now the former Waratah is on his way to entrenching himself within the USA Eagles line-up and will front up against the Wallabies keen to leave his mark on the team he ultimately couldn’t crack.
Born on Sydney’s north shore and pushing his way into junior Australian sides, Peterson once looked on the path to Wallaby gold.
Good form at Manly had the second-rower and lock on the Waratahs radar but in his three years from 2012-2014 with the larger squad only one cap came.
With American parents and a link to the Eagles with his grandfather having played for them, USA coach Mike Tolkin came calling.
Long story short, Peterson will be looking to dish out punishment on his former teammates at Soldier Field in Chicago before heading to the World Cup.
“Playing against the country where I was born and raised brings a lot of excitement,” Peterson said.
“I know the majority of players, you grow up watching them or playing with or against them so I’m a little bit nervous but those nerves breed excitement and the excitement hopefully breeds a good performance.
“Playing the Wallabies now makes it all worth it.”
The 24-year-old already has six caps for the Eagles and would love nothing more than to add to his lone international try against the Wallabies.
While he is under no illusions of the enormity of the task ahead Peterson says the US team will put up an interesting and passionate style of rugby against the Australians.
“We play a very mixed style of northern and southern hemisphere rugby with a lot of influences from the professional players in the northern hemisphere,” Peterson said.
“We have had a long time together the last few months and the longer the team is together the better we perform.”