Alex Grove heard centre partner Graeme Morrison "jibbering" in his ear for the whole of Scotland's win over Fiji - but the 21-year-old debutant would not have had it any other way.
Grove was delighted with his first cap in Saturday’s opening autumn international, which saw the Worcester star line up alongside Glasgow stalwart Morrison.
Six years Grove’s senior, Morrison took it upon himself to talk Grove through his introduction to the Test arena, and the new man hung on the 27-year-old’s every word.
“He didn’t ever make me feel exposed and was constantly talking to me in defence and attack,” said Grove after helping Scotland to a 23-10 victory at Murrayfield.
“As a first cap, that’s what you need, that reassurance on your inside that he’s got your shoulder in defence. And, for the full 80, he was talking to me and jibbering in my ear.”
Grove showed an encouraging lack of nerves on debut, flinging himself into tackles against men almost twice his size from the first whistle.
“I was conscious of getting into the game early on and I didn’t want to go 10, 15 minutes without touching the ball or making a hit,” Grove said. “So I tried to find my feet early on and get into the game.”