Brumbies and Wallabies hooker Billy Pollard was speechless after his crazy debut, capping off a remarkable journey with a maiden cap during Sunday's defeat to Argentina.
At the start of the year, Pollard was fighting out to be the third-choice hooker at the Brumbies, having only tasted Super Rugby briefly during the final game of the Trans-Tasman competition.
Strong performances off the bench for the ACT-based side saw the 20-year-old establish himself as a key prospect for the future, fast-tracked into the Australia A set-up for the Pacific Nations Cup.
However, a concussion to Dave Porecki saw Pollard raced over to Argentina as cover before another head knock, this time to club teammate Folau Fainga'a, handed him a shock debut off the bench after just eight Super Rugby games.
The game was already well and truly over by the time he was injected in the 67th minute as Argentina ran away with the 48-17 victory, their largest over Australia, leaving Pollard with mixed feelings after the game.
"I'm obviously very disappointed. It's certainly not how I saw it going or how I planned, but I'm still very excited to get my cap,” the soft-spoken Pollard told Stan Sport.
"I really wish we could have got the win there.”
The past fortnight has been a 'surreal' experience according to Pollard, forced to borrow captain James Slipper's boots amid the sudden race to the airport to get on the multi-leg flight to San Juan.
However, it was a moment Pollard would cherish regardless of the result, looking to make it the first of many appearances in the gold jersey.
"I've been carrying around a shoe bag from the hotel to carry my gear around but it’s been good," he revealed.
"It's obviously been a pretty surreal experience getting to hang out with guys like James O'Connor, Slips (James Slipper), all those sort of guys.
"I certainly didn't expect it either. I didn't expect this week so I tried to learn as much detail as I could for this week…I’m just a little bit lost for words.
“I'm just a bit disappointed. The whole experience from these two weeks has been pretty surreal."