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Sheehan's brother not jetting in to Italy
Russell Jackson
07:03 AEST Sat Nov 24 2012

Veteran halfback Brett Sheehan was elated when told he'd be starting for the Wallabies this weekend but there was mixed emotions for one of his biggest supporters.

Sheehan will make his first run-on appearance for the Wallabies, against Italy in Florence on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) some six years after making his Test debut.

It's a great reward for the 33-year-old's determination but for his brother Chris there was mixed feelings.

Chris, two years older, won't be making the trip to Italy which is unusual because he doesn't mind travelling to watch him play.

He's a Qantas pilot.

"Unfortunately, my brother is on the 747s with Qantas and they don't do Europe anymore," said Sheehan, who has played six Tests.

"He was a bit devastated about that at first but I'm sure there'll be plenty of support back home."

Four years ago, Chris swapped a shift so he could watch Australia play South Africa before flying the team home from Johannesburg.

"That was his first flight too, so it was a pretty special moment," Sheehan said.

The Western Force No.9 was set to leave Super Rugby at the end of the season and join London Irish.

He agreed to terms before new coach Brian Smith came on board and told Sheehan he wasn't wanted.

"It was disappointing with how it worked out over there but they had a new coach and a new direction they wanted to go in and that's the way it goes in the professional game," Sheehan said.

Injuries to halfbacks Will Genia and Nic White opened the door for Sheehan to play at Test level again and under Robbie Deans for the first time since the Johannesburg match in 2008.

"Obviously coaches have different opinions on players and for four years I haven't been in those plans," he said.

"It's one of those things that if you work hard and believe in yourself then you can be rewarded.

"To finally get the chance is great. But I can't sit back now and think the job is done. I'll keep working hard.

"But I do think that hindsight is a wonderful thing. I'm here now playing for the Wallabies. It's turned out OK for me."