Brumbies outside back Ben O'Donnell admits it was a dream come true to make his Super Rugby debut, having taken 'the long way' to the nation's capital.
O'Donnell made his own slice of history, becoming the 250th player to represent the club after helping the Brumbies close out a 23-17 victory over the Queensland Reds in Canberra.
“It was a dream come true," he said to reporters.
“It was quick out there but I was so stoked to get that win, makes the team song better as well.”
“You take your chances as you come and I’ve been given that off the bench so I just need to bring the impact I can bring.
“I spoke in the change rooms about not all the journeys being the same. Some people come through the pathways, some go around the back which I did but you pick up little learnings along the way and I wouldn’t change it.”
As alluded to, O'Donnell's journey is far from traditional.
He went from high school at Waverley College into USA Collegiate Rugby with Lindenwood before a trip to the Basque to play for Spanish club Ordizia.
The 27-year-old got his next opportunities through Andy Friend, who signed him for the Sevens program, only to recruit O'Donnell to Ireland to play for Connacht in 2020.
“It’s quicker, thank god it’s not as cold yet!,” O’Donnell said on the comparisons between Super and Irish Rugby.
“The way the Irish are playing their footy, you can see it’s high level. What Super Rugby is producing this year is right up there so it’s a tough level to be playing at.”
The 2018 Shawn Mackay Medalist is still finding his fight after switching between the two formats whilst praising how seamlessly fellow winger Corey Toole has made the swap.
“It’s tough that first transition (from 15s to Sevens),” he admits.
“My first 15s professional gig was in Ireland so it was a completely different game, a lot of chasing high balls and not much ball in hand.
“It’s tough so to see someone like Corey Toole go through it and pick it up faster than he runs (is great). Once you get the swing of things, you find where you can pop up and bring that Sevens x-factor.”