Young Bulldogs prop Herman Ese'ese overcame a serious case of butterflies to achieve a "dream come true" of representing his club in the NRL last Friday night, just 24 hours after receiving confirmation of his impending debut.
The damaging 20-year-old prop got his chance as a result of injuries and suspension ruling out four of the club's first-choice props.
Ese'ese aims to do what he can to stake a claim for a regular first grade spot but with the big names due to start rolling back this weekend the promising former Bulldogs NYC star faces a stiff ask.
Speaking to NRL.com after helping his side over the line in a 28-16 win against Manly, Ese'ese – one of two debutants on the night along with fellow 20-year-old Bulldogs NYC graduate Danny Fualolo – confessed to plenty of nerves in the lead-up.
"The week leading up to the game, there were definitely butterflies in the stomach, I was nervous, but I'm lucky enough to get the support from the boys which made the game much easier," he said.