Saturday’s tense victory over Scotland has left Wales debutant Willis Halaholo itching for more Guinness Six Nations minutes when the Championship resumes in nine days’ time.
The Cardiff Blues centre came on shortly after the half-hour mark at BT Murrayfield to make his first appearance in his country’s colours, making quite the impact in the 25-24 win in Edinburgh.
Not only was the 30-year-old a physical presence in the breakdown, but he also created the space to provide Louis Rees-Zammit with the perfect pass to send the winger away for the match-winning try late in the game.
And Halaholo was keen to repay the faith put in him by Welsh supporters, who were giving him words of encouragement on social media after his call up for Wayne Pivac’s squad.
“It was great,” Halaholo said when talking to the BBC’s Scrum V podcast. “That played a part in me going out, doing my best and contributing to the team.
“I just wanted to show those people that have supported me over the last four or five years that I have been here, that when I put that jersey on, I am willing to give 100 per cent.
“I hope I did those people proud and want to thank the people for all they have done for me.”
A maiden Wales cap had been a long time coming for Halaholo, with the New-Zealand born centre due to take on the Barbarians back in 2019, before a knee injury scuppered his chances of featuring.
More than 14 months later, the long journey back to international selection finally reached his destination for Halaholo, who qualifies for Wales through residency after joining Cardiff Blues in 2016.
That Welsh pride was written all over his face before kickoff at BT Murrayfield, with the enormity of the occasion almost bringing him to tears.
“It was emotional, especially during the anthem,” he added. “My wife asked me why I looked like that during the anthem.
“I was trying to hold back the tears because I was just thinking how hard it was to get here and how I am playing for my two daughters who were born in Wales. This is their country and anybody who knows me knows I am all about family.
“Anybody with daughters will tell you once you start thinking about your girls you just start getting emotional. So that is all I was thinking about while the anthem was on.”
Wales welcome England to Principality Stadium in Round 3 of this year’s Championship next weekend, with Halaholo and his teammates looking to secure the Triple Crown after victories over Ireland and Scotland.
With hopes of a Grand Slam still alive, the centre is eager to get back onto the pitch and contribute to his side’s efforts in the remaining three rounds.
“I am hungry for more, that was a nice little taste, I am hoping I have done enough to put my hand up to be involved in discussions for selection,” Halaholo said.
“I am here to provide help in winning rugby games for the team. Whatever job that may be I will put in 100 per cent.”