When Cian Healy walked out, rather sheepishly, to face a barrage of cameras, microphones and dictaphones in the Ireland squad's base in Killiney yesterday, there was no escaping the fact that he had hit the big time.
“Cian, hang back,” said Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll with a wave and a smile, encouraging the 22-year-old to milk the exposure.
O'Driscoll, ready to play his 100th international at centre, is well used to the hype but loose-head prop is not typically one of the 'sexy' positions in a rugby XV.
However, when you factor in Healy's inherent modesty next to his startling talent and rapid development, it is hard to quell the sense of excitement that accompanies his elevation to the senior Ireland side for Sunday's clash with the Wallabies.
We started writing him up a few seasons ago when it became obvious that this was a young man that was going places, in a position where Ireland have traditionally struggled for depth.
If the unfortunate Marcus Horan, superb in Ireland's Grand Slam success, had not been ruled out by his medical condition there were no guarantees Healy would have started but since he became a regular with Leinster in the second-half of last season his form has been irresistible.
After Paul O'Connell's backing Healy on Tuesday to be “great player for Ireland” for years to come, Ireland coach Declan Kidney yesterday also predicted a lengthy career in green for the Leinster man, stressing that, although very young for an international prop, he had no hesitation when it came to Sunday's selection.
“There are loads of thing to learn over the next eight years,” said Kidney. “Hopefully, his career will go on and on once injury allows it. If he can just play the way he has been playing that's all we want him to do.
“He has been going well with Leinster; he was willing to be patient last year and fight his way into it.
“He's very young for a prop. That's why I'd say eight, 10 years. You don't usually say that about a player, he's just at the infancy of the whole thing, I think.
“I wish Marcus well but the two of them would have been battling for it. I'm looking forward to him playing,” added Kidney, reflecting the general air of anticipation.
Quiet-spoken and unassuming, Healy tried to put into words what the honour of getting to represent his country means to him and admitted to it being a daunting prospect.
“It's a dream come true. This is what I've wanted since I was a child. To be going into such an experienced team, it's unbelievable. I can't get my head around it,” said Healy.
“There is hope of course, but I didn't expect anything at all, it was just a case of trying my hardest for Leinster and seeing if it worked out; thankfully it did.
“Declan always just said play as myself and don't try and do anything you're not comfortable with. Play the way you play; that's why you've got here. I am quite nervous but I think it's more the enjoyable sort of nerves rather than fear or anything. I'm just anxious to get out there now, it's going to be a tough few days getting to sleep.”