WALLABIES halfback Nic White was in primary school at Scone when he made the switch to rugby union.
The journey started with a season of juniors at Muswellbrook and has since taken him to Maitland, Sydney, Canberra, France and England as well as stops in Japan, South Africa and Argentina.
On Saturday night the Hunter product, now aged 30, went full circle and played his 36th Test at home in Newcastle with family and friends watching together in the grandstands.
And there was no hiding the "emotion" of the occasion for White out in the middle nor the "disappointment" that came with a drawn 15-all result between Australia and Argentina at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"Pre game and just before I run out I had to kind of park that emotion, but it was pretty emotional to get back here," White said.
"I had the whole family there all together watching me, so it was pretty special.
"I've circled it for a long time but knew it would be crap if we didn't get the result. It could of been a great one to enjoy.
"I haven't played here since I was about 16. Unfortunately it's going to be tainted with a losing draw really."
White made his way to the centre of the field after the Wallabies ran out and took a deep breath, taking in the atmosphere prior to kick off.
He also sang the national anthem with gusto, fifth along in the team line with his eyes shut and belting out the words.
Once the opening whistle blew it was game on and with less than three minutes gone the No.9 had the crowd of 11,749 on their feet when he darted through the Pumas' defensive line and inside the 22m zone before being tackled by the last defender.
White produced some effective box kicks and smart chips into the corners, praised by coach Dave Rennie for "applying a lot of pressure" with the boot.
His passing was also crisp, despite one high cut-out ball in the first half that eventually went over the sideline.
White knows that a Tri Nations trophy could still be up for grabs when they round the season in a fortnight but that Australia let an opportunity slip at the Turton Road venue, having led 15-6 with just under 20 minutes left.
"There'll be plenty of motivation there to put things right," he said.
"It'll be a tough two weeks. It's been an interesting year and we'd love to send it out on a high.
"Hopefully it's all there for us going into that last game and the carrot is there, we learn from this and put on an absolute cracker."
White, who was substituted in the 68th minute, made his way over to his support crew on the sidelines after full-time and took what will no doubt be a somewhat memorable selfie.
And regardless of sharing the competition points, it was a rare short drive to his new house in Bolwarra and Wallabies camp in the Coalfields rather than staying elsewhere across the country or on the other side of the world.
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