Hanigans change plans to watch Ned make his Wallabies debut
WALLABY debutant Ned Hanigan has revealed his brother delayed his graduation in the Gold Coast to watch him play against Fiji on Saturday.
Hanigan's brother Charlie was set for his graduation ceremony in Queensland, with Hanigan's parents making the long drive from country NSW, before the family discovered Ned had been picked to start for the Wallabies on Thursday afternoon.
"Just before we found out (my parents) were heading to the Gold Coast, which is about a 10-hour drive, for my brother's graduation, they just kept going to the Gold Coast and then got a flight down here,” Hanigan said.
"He delayed it, he just went to the dean or something and said 'I've got a brother playing in Melbourne so I've got to go but I'll be back soon', which was pretty good of him.
"My little sister (Heather) was here as well. I've got another brother (Luke) over in the UK who is no doubt in a pub somewhere with a few other Aussies celebrating.”
Hanigan, who grew up in the small town of Coonamble, paid tribute to his parents for driving him to sport every weekend as a child.
"I saw them after the game, mum said she cried after the anthem so I'm glad I wasn't standing next to her,” Hanigan said.
"They're just happy to be here, we talk about it as players that we might have to sacrifice things but my parents throughout winter sport and summer sport when I was at school, they've always been on the sideline.
"The kilometres that dad and mum have clocked up over the years is phenomenal.”
Waratahs flanker Hanigan impressed in his first outing in gold and is desperate to get another chance next Saturday on his home ground of Allianz Stadium against Scotland.
"As soon as you get a little bit of a sniff, you want to stay in it,” he said.
"Hopefully I've done enough to get there, but if not, you're striving to get back in that jersey.
"It's just something you don't know what it's like until you're there, and then when you get a bit of a feel you want to stay there plenty more.”