All Blacks centre Jack Goodhue completes rollercoaster debut against French XV

  • 15/11/2017

The misery of the mumps. The high of an All Blacks debut. The anxiety of a yellow card. The relief of a win.

Centre Jack Goodhue has made one of the more unorthodox starts to an All Blacks career, something he acknowledges will be character-building.

The 22-year-old was a central figure as New Zealand held on to beat a French selection 28-23 in Lyon, a match he'll remember for his part in a gripping finish.

Shown a yellow card for taking out French centre Henry Chavancy without the ball, he insists the act wasn't deliberate even though replays suggested it was.

"I was ready to tackle him if he got the ball but ended up tripping on his foot," Goodhue said.

"I can see how they saw it so I'm not too bitter about it. It makes it more memorable I guess.

"It wasn't the perfect debut but I'm just glad the boys came away with the win in the end."

Goodhue was meant to make his debut 10 days earlier when an inexperienced All Blacks team beat the Barbarians at Twickenham.

However, a bout of the mumps about two weeks before he was due to fly out resulted in substantial weight loss and kept him off the flight.

He can see the funny side now.

"It's been an absolute roller-coaster, the last few weeks. I couldn't believe it, it was the worst time for that."

Aside from his late absence, Goodhue enjoyed a sound match although he was critical of some of his decision-making.

"I just have to get used to the occasion, I guess.

"I'll get another game soon enough and I just need to relax a bit more and play my instinctive game."    

NZN