Houston grateful for Bath support

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 16:18
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REACTION: Australia's Leroy Houston thanked his English Premiership teammates for helping him become a full Wallaby international.

The 29-year-old flank won his first Test cap after coming off the bench during Australia's 33-21 victory in the Rugby Championship finale at Twickenham on Saturday.

Houston was first called into an Australia squad in 2005 and played for Australia A against the French Barbarians in a non-cap international in Bordeaux. He feared that would be his sole representative appearance but now he is a fully-fledged international.  

"It's an amazing feeling to become a Wallaby. I've aspired to this for a long time and honestly in my career I didn't think I'd get to this level. When I left Australia to play club rugby in France [first in Bordeaux, then in Colomiers] that was the first time I ever questioned whether I was good enough to play professional rugby.

"To go from being in that frame of mind to running out at Twickenham to play Argentina for the Wallabies, that's why I've got such a big smile on my face. I was down in the dumps, and a lot of boys go through it but look what came of it," Houston said.

Several of his Bath colleagues were at Twickenham on Saturday to support the back row forward.

"It was awesome to see Matt Banahan waiting there when we arrived. I asked those boys if they could come down and they jumped at the chance. It was not just Matt Banahan, it was Matt Garvey and Kane Palma-Newport too.

"I asked them if they could come down and see me and that was unbelievable. These boys are the reason I'm here. If I hadn't played for Bath and played to my potential, with those guys around me, helping me, I wouldn't be here today. So I'm very thankful to them for that.

"I'll probably keep the [Australia] cap on for a few days now. My old man [father] has got a great set-up with my jerseys and things back home, so hopefully this will be framed at some point and go into that," he added.

Agence France-Presse