Betham's second coming

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:57
Large peter betham wallabies Large peter betham waratahs Large peter betham waratahs

On Thursday Peter Betham will touch down in Edinburgh, ahead of the Wallabies' fourth year-end tour Test against Scotland on Saturday.

On Thursday Peter Betham will touch down in Edinburgh, ahead of the Wallabies' fourth year-end tour Test against Scotland on Saturday.

Having made his Test debut as a late call-up against New Zealand last month, the Waratahs wing on Wednesday received a second summons from Ewen McKenzie.

Boarding the plane, less than 24 hours after receiving the Wallabies' coach's message, the 24-year-old smiled when he recalled the message.

"It was my missus who knew first," he said.

"She woke me up at 06.00 and said that I had a message. She was a little sad and said she wouldn't be seeing me for a bit. I then read the message asking me to join the Wallabies in Europe."

The last time Betham was in Europe, he was a part of the2005 Australian Schoolboys squad that was captained by his NSW teammate Pat McCutcheon and also featured Wallabies Christian Lealiifano, Quade Cooper, David Pocock, Ben McCalman and Kurtley Beale.

But with six players stood down by McKenzie for the Test against Scotland, and centre Tevita Kuridrani and now wing Matt Toomua also unavailable, Betham received his second call up to the national squad.

His first Wallaby call up came after he received an SOS from national coach Ewan McKenzie for the third Bledisloe Cup match in Dunedin in October.

"Having the opportunity twice in one year, they definitely know that I won't say no because I have already said yes before!

"It is good they have the confidence in me, I'll go over there and do the best I can for them and do my job."

Although there's every chance the Waratahs wing could again slot straight into the starting 15 for the clash with the Scots at Murrayfield, Betham's not getting ahead of himself.

"It doesn't bother me if I do or don't get a start in the Test. I just have to do my job and that is all that I am focused on at the moment."

A product of Sydney's St Joseph's college, the 24-year-old has no doubts his Waratahs experience has played a major role in him rising to Wallaby status.

"My time at the Waratahs and going through the program is the only reason I am in the frame with the Wallabies: going through the program, evolving, getting better and better day by day. I think there are big things ahead for Waratahs and Wallabies."

The same could be said for wing who is heading into his third season with the Waratahs.

"Confidence is a big part of my game that has only really been present over the past two years.

"Before that I was getting ahead of myself, not thinking about the present, thinking too far ahead. Now I am taking a more mature approach, I take things day by day and improve on the things little by little."

Betham hasn't yet played at Murrayfield or the Millennium Stadium but there's a good chance he'll tick one of them off - perhaps even two - before the year is up.