He mightn't have been able to sleep the night before but it only took a couple of minutes for Ben Gunter to make his mark on Super Rugby.
Starting at six for the Sunwolves in their clash with the Queensland Reds, the Gunnedah native who is known for his physicality made his presence felt early.
With his first involvement in the game, and the competition, he forced a knock-on with the pressure of his tackle.
It set the tone for what was a brutal defensive effort from the Japanese side in the first half as they suffocated the Reds to lead 21-5 at the break.
Gunter was a pivotal figure in that. On another occasion the 21-year, who remains the youngest ever player to play in the Japanese Top League, helped drive a Reds player back five metres and almost into the in goal.
The Sunwolves were just as abrasive at the breakdown with Gunter and his backrow cohorts consistently earning praise during the commentary as they dominated their Queensland counterparts.
Unfortunately though he wasn't out there for much of the second half, being replaced by Amanaki Lelei Mafi five minutes in.
Aside from suiting up for the World XV against the Japanese side in a friendly last year, the biggest stage he has played on so far in his career, the former Red Devils junior said leading up to the game the nerves weren't too bad but admitted he couldn't sleep the night before.
"The most intimidating/best feeling was when I was standing in the tunnel just before I was about to take the field, knowing that I have my family and friends supporting me even though they are half a world away," he said.
"I do what I do for my family to make them proud."
"The feeling of making your family proud is the best feeling in the world."
Despite the limited game time, Gunter was the Sunwolves equal second top tackler for the game with 11 to go with four runs and one turnover.
"I was very happy with my defence in the game," he said.
"My pop always tells me get an early tackle or a carry and you will be fine so that was one of my mini goals for the game."
He said he doesn't though really remember a lot from the game "because everything's happening at once".
"If anything you only remember the bad things you did," he said noting that he gave away "some unnecessary penalties".
His first taste of Super Rugby, he said the biggest difference to the Japanese top league is that you can't afford to make too many mistakes or give too many penalties away "because you will pay for that in points".
Watching on from a club in Myuna Bay, was a very proud Mum and Pop - Jeff and Diane Worrell.
"It was unreal," Jeff said.
"It was great to watch him play and he went well while he was on there."
"He had a big game."
Away for the weekend, he said they were a bit worried they mightn't be able to watch the telecast of the game.
But, fortunately the club were only too happy to put it on for them.
Speaking to Ben on Saturday morning, Jeff said he was nervous, although he pointed out that that is pretty normal.
Once he gets out there he is usually pretty right.
"He was pretty pumped up. This was his first Super Rugby game," he said.
It was a game of two halves with the Reds sparking to life in the second half to spoil Gunter's party and snatch a thrilling 34-31 win.
Hamish Stewart sealed their first win of the season with a clutch penalty with two minutes remaining after the Reds had stormed to a five point lead with three ties in 10 minutes.