Carr revved up after first Test cap

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said af­ter­wards.

“But the game was so tight, yoh, so I wasn’t so sure that I was re­ally go­ing to go on!”

Asked if he spot­ted the hole in the Italy trenches, Carr said: “Yes. Part of our game­plan is to stick to that, and I saw a bit of space and I just at­tacked it. It was on for a split sec­ond and I just quickly switched on. The guy ac­tu­ally tack­led me into a po­si­tion where I had to off­load – there was no way I could’ve gone my­self.

“As soon as I went on, Duane (Ver­meulen) said to me: ‘Hey, I can see you are ner­vous. Just stay calm, it’s no dif­fer­ent to the Storm­ers and Su­per Rugby level. Just go out and en­joy your­self ’. And I think after that, I re­ally felt a bit more calm.”

The 23-year-old said that the nerves were down to the re­al­i­sa­tion of ful­fill­ing a long-term goal that had prob­a­bly come a bit sooner than ex­pected.

And Carr’s big mo­ment was also a his­toric one as he be­came the first Mus­lim rugby player to rep­re­sent the Spring­boks.

It wasn’t all a fairy­tale, though, as his pres­ence on tour meant that he would have to miss the wed­ding of older brother Riyaaz, which took place yes­ter­day in Cape Town. So, his fam­ily also couldn’t be in Padova to wit­ness his Test de­but.

“I was a bit more set­tled after Duane spoke to me be­cause my nerves were sky-high. You guys can ob­vi­ously imag­ine that there is a lot of emo­tion in­volved – fam­i­lies, team­mates, coaches, that you want to im­press. I was just so happy to get such a lot of ga­me­time on the pitch – I thought I was go­ing to get five min­utes, and I was more than happy to get even two seconds on the pitch. So, it’s re­ally great,” Carr said.

“This is a good present for him (his brother). I hope they en­joyed it back home be­cause all my fam­ily came over and all the friends and sat at my house watch­ing the game.”

Carr was of­fi­cially capped after the game on Satur­day night, so he can now wear the Bok blazer that he has had to carry on his arm while on tour.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I just sat in the cloak­room now, just tak­ing ev­ery­thing in. And it just feels like ev­ery­thing is hap­pen­ing so slowly. I ob­vi­ously don’t want this mo­ment to go by quickly. I want to take in as much as pos­si­ble,” he said.

“It’s re­ally in­de­scrib­able. I think it’s some­thing that I am go­ing to re­mem­ber through­out my ca­reer.”

But there is still a Test match to be played against Wales at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium on Satur­day, and there is a good chance that Carr will again be at least on the bench, if not even a start if Ver­meulen or Mar­cell Coet­zee takes a breather.

Apart from his classy bit of skill to set up Reinach’s try, Carr also got stuck in on de­fence in his trade­mark un­re­lent­ing style, but ad­mit­ted that the speed of the game was some­thing he’d never ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.

“The rucks were very messy, but it was very phys­i­cal. I mean, even the hits and the guys run­ning at you, stuff like that. There weren’t a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties to showcase what I’d re­ally got and what coach asked me to do, but the one or two tack­les that I had was no­gal hard, very hard!” he said.

“The Ital­ians were re­ally tough. I think it was my quick­est, fastest, most phys­i­cal game I’ve ever played, and that’s from the Ital­ians. So, I think that is what they meant about Test-level rugby. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the next one if I do get an op­por­tu­nity.”

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