Wallabies back-rower Ned Hanigan says he would be more revved up than intimidated by the sight of an All Blacks haka in front of him before what could be a "dream" first outing against New Zealand.
While Michael Cheika will not name his team to take on the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup opener until Thursday next week, Hanigan is a genuine chance of locking up the No.6 jersey following an auspicious June series.
Horse lover: Wallabies back-rower Ned Hanigan pictured with American Pharoah, the 2015 US triple crown winner, at the ...Horse lover: Wallabies back-rower Ned Hanigan pictured with American Pharoah, the 2015 US triple crown winner, at the Coolmore Stud. Photo: Katrina Partridge
With captain Michael Hooper assured of the openside breakaway spot, Hanigan, Sean McMahon, Lopeti Timani, Jack Dempsey and Adam Korczyk are fighting for the remaining back row spots at Wallabies camp in Cessnock.
Before Hanigan's debut in Melbourne against Fiji, he recalled how as a kid he would imitate the haka while watching Bledisloe Cup games at the neighbours' house in Coonamble in country NSW.
At 22, Hanigan is now potentially days away from fulfilling a boyhood dream, should he be picked.
"I'll go with the cliche but it would honestly be a dream come true," Hanigan told Fairfax Media. "I've watched so many times the haka be played on TV. I've stood in front of it in the juniors and things like that but this would be something else.
"I can't really put into words how it would feel. Seeing it won't intimidate you, it'll rev you up. You can see it revs them up but it definitely gets you excited. You're side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder with guys you've trained with and sweated with for the last three or four months and it'll be something else."
Hanigan is rarely lost for words on the training paddock or on a footy field but a visit this week to the Coolmore Stud had the country lad in horse racing heaven.