England has proven to be a profitable location for Northern Irish rugby players - just look at the success of the likes of Exeter Chiefs' Premiership winning duo Gareth Steenson and Ian Whitten, or Worcester Warriors' Niall Annett and Caleb Montgomery.
Now, Zach Kerr is hoping to add his name the list over the next few years after being picked up by Newcastle Falcons on an Academy deal and making his debut for the club last month.
The 21-year-old winger rose to prominence in the Falcons' win over Castres in the European Challenge Cup a few weeks ago, starting on the wing and having a stormer, setting up two tries on the way to a 26-17 win.
But it hasn't been a straightforward route to the big leagues for Bangor man Kerr, his rugby path the epitome of hard work paying off having taken him from Bangor Grammar to Bangor RFC and then on to Newcastle via New Zealand and Yorkshire.
After playing for the Ulster Under-18s and Under-19s while captaining the Grammar school, Kerr was informed he would not be earning a place in the Ulster set-up - a conversation that would usually end the career of any young hopeful. But not Kerr.
"Obviously the aim at that time was to try and progress with Ulster, but at that time they didn't think I was ready so they let me go," Kerr explains.
"But I knew that rugby was something I wanted to pursue, so at that time I made the commitment to achieve that dream."
That commitment took him to the other side of the world to New Zealand, where an advert spotted by his mum on Facebook led him to join the country's leading rugby academy, Inside Running, for a year in September 2018 to try and improve his skills.
But while the hard work was done with Inside Running, which is based in the Bay of Plenty region, the real experience for Kerr came on the pitch with local club Tauranga Sports.
There, both he and Tauranga flourished. Personally, his performances got him called up to a Bay of Plenty academy side for a game against a touring Argentina outfit, while Tauranga reached the final of the league, losing 23-10 to rivals Te Puna.
"I played a full season there and ended up playing in the league's grand final in front of a few thousand fans, which was unbelievable," adds Kerr, whose uncle is former Ulster player and coach Mark McCall.
"I was playing week in, week out against ex-internationals and current internationals, it was unbelievable.
"Two days later I was getting my hair cut, and a few guys in the shop recognised me from playing in the grand final! It's definitely such a big community thing, everyone's so involved."
After returning home and playing a few games for Bangor, everything was put on hold as a result of the coronavirus, but the ambition to latch on with a professional club still remained.
A deal with Yorkshire Carnegie in the English Championship ended early due to the club's financial situation, but his agent quickly found him an opportunity with Newcastle University, which would lead to training sessions with the Falcons.
By August, he was at Kingston Park, working with the seniors on an unpaid trial basis due to injuries and, once again, his hard working attitude shone through. His commitment impressed director of rugby Dean Richards and a full-time academy deal followed in November.
His meteoric rise didn't stop there, either. Just two weeks after joining the set-up, he was on a plane to France to make his Newcastle debut, starting on the wing against Castres and playing that prominent role in the win.
"I loved every minute of it to be honest with you. Just the build-up during the week, arriving in the stadium and running out... it's a very addictive feeling," grins Kerr, who is still studying for a law degree at Newcastle despite joining the Falcons Academy.
"It's an exciting thing getting to travel over to France and even just looking at some of the names that I was playing with - Mark Wilson has played in a World Cup final - was unbelievable."
Having now featured for the Falcons' senior side, the aim is to get a Premiership appearance as soon as possible and then try and kick on from there.
But for Kerr, the journey he's on proves there is no one way to achieve your sporting ambitions and he hopes the journey he's already been on can inspire other players to do the same, even after it seems like the door has closed.
"I've talked to a few guys who are currently at the Grammar about this - I'm hoping that my journey can show younger players how many opportunities there are out there," he says.
"It's just over three years since Ulster let me go and now I'm getting a first appearance for another team, so it just shows that I'm doing something right and all the commitment I've put in has paid off. It's all the sacrifices and all the work I've done behind the scenes that makes the difference in the end."