The concept of nous in rugby is difficult to quantify.
Running out in front of Brumbies fans may be nothing new to Henry Speight, who considers Canberra “home”.
But the damaging winger admits he will get emotional before taking the field in the national capital on Friday night when he is expected to play his first Super Rugby clash for new club Queensland Reds.
“A little bit, I guess so. There’s nothing to shy away from there,” said Reds recruit Speight, who spent nine seasons at the Brumbies.
“It is home for me, Canberra, and it’s got a very special place in my heart.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the organisation and a lot of good friends and brothers in that team.”
Not that the 31-year-old will be holding back against his Brumbies mates in Friday’s Super Rugby season opener.
“If selected, the only way to pay the biggest respect is to play the best I can against them and in front of the Canberra community and also play my part for Queensland,” he said.
“I’ll wear the jersey with pride and pay my utmost respect to the opposition and the community by playing my best on the day.
“Anything short of that is just not going to do anyone justice.”
Speight admitted he had known the Brumbies were Queensland’s first-round opponent since he signed a two-year deal with the Reds late last year.
“The schedule came out and it was just a bit of a funny feeling seeing the first game was up against the Brumbies and back down in Canberra,” he said.
“That was weird finding out when I was still living in Canberra as well.”
Speight has since settled into his new home with his wife Louise and son Josefa.
Speight said he relocated to Queensland for family reasons and appears to have made up for lost time since arriving in Brisbane, recently introducing his son to his 89-year-old great grandfather for the first time as four generations gathered.
Speight has also enjoyed his short time on the field with the Reds after successful off-season knee surgery.
He only played his first game in Reds colours in last Friday’s trial win over NSW Waratahs in Dalby but appeared to do enough to impress coach Brad Thorn and earn Super Rugby first-round selection.
Speight hoped Queensland also hit the ground running in their 2020 season with a tough start against the Brumbies, Lions in South Africa and Jaguares in Argentina before their first home game on February 22.