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Godwin makes most of winning Wallaby debut

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016 Joe Barton

After holding his own in a fierce debut match for the Wallabies, Kyle Godwin received the reaction from coach Michael Cheika to know he belonged: a handshake.

"(That) is a good thing from Cheik - if he's shaking your hand and looking at you in the eye then you're alright," a cheery Godwin said after Saturday's 25-23 win over France, while still wearing his debut Wallabies cap.

A surprise selection to make his debut at inside centre at Stade de France, Godwin enjoyed a trouble-free debut right until the final minutes when he - like every other Wallaby - feared the night would turn sour on the back of a match-winning French field goal.

But Camille Lopez's attempt sailed to the left of the uprights, and ensured the 24-year-old Godwin's debut would be filled with only fond memories.

"I was more stressed for those last couple of minutes than I was before the game," he admitted.

On the basis of the Zimbabwean-born playmaker's performance, it won't be the last time he pulls on a gold jersey.

"For a debutant to come out and play 80 minutes with a late change in a playmaker next to him - he stood up," Cheika said.

"He didn't sit back and not make plays.

"He probably got to about 65 minutes and it probably started to get to him: 'I'm in a Test here, it's tight, I've never been here before'.

"And he really stood up and got involved. I felt like he stayed in the game.

"He made a decision where he was going to stay in the game and try and win the game as opposed to just being apart of it, which would be absolutely normal I imagine in such a big atmosphere."

Given an edict by Cheika before the game not to second-guess himself, Godwin looked assured slotting in at first receiver, made 12 tackles in a flawless defensive display and showed his value as a left-foot kicker.

More importantly, he felt like he belonged.

"There's lot of areas for me to work on, I just can't wait to get back on the training field on Monday," Godwin said.

"I definitely felt like I can play at that level but there's a lot of areas for me to improve on."

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