After dealing with family inflicted nerves, Waratahs No.8 Jed Holloway is now looking forward to tangling with the fearsome Brumbies back row in Friday’s Super Rugby blockbuster in Canberra.
Holloway was among the Waratahs’ best players in their opening round 30-10 home win over the Reds.
It was only his third start and the first since 2013, but he looked comfortable in elite level company.
The game looms as a huge challenge for the emerging Waratah against a Brumbies back row containing Wallabies stalwarts David Pocock and Scott Fardy and the powerful Ita Vaea.
“Every chance I get I like to measure myself up against good opposition,” Holloway said on Monday.
“But because you’re facing guys like David Pocock and guys that I’ve really looked up to for a long time, it’s something that I’m really relishing and really looking forward to.”
He’s unlikely to face the same kind of off-field stress he encountered in the leadup to last Saturday’s game.
“I’m a very cruisey guy and I had to sort of tell my family to step back a bit because they were making me so nervous by the way they were acting,” Holloway said.
“(I was saying) it was just another game of footy, I was trying to do that.
“But I was super nervous with them. I couldn’t really control that but I just tried to focus on what I needed to do and work hard and I knew I’d get into the game.
“I was loving every moment of it out there and just trying to live in the moment and take my opportunity.
“I’m just super happy that I had a decent game, but really looking to improve and stay consistent.”
Crucially for Holloway, Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson was one man impressed by his performance against Queensland.
“He’s been a player of immense potential, we’ve all seen that over the last two or three years,” Gibson said.
“I was really pleased with him. He showed what he’s capable of and the potential he has got.”
Holloway expects to have to ward off challenges for the No.8 spot from a number of younger players in the squad and also Wallabies’ veteran Wycliff Palu.