As he sat in the Carton House bubble this week, peppered with questions through a laptop screen, Stuart McCloskey offered a forthright assessment of the challenge that greets Irish Rugby hopefuls in games such as tomorrow afternoon's against Georgia.
Last weekend's loss to England in Twickenham - their fourth in a row against Eddie Jones' side and sixth straight against teams above them in the world rankings - offered indisputable evidence that, as Andy Farrell puts it, this is a team on a "different journey" to those at the very top of the game.
Already in transition after the Joe Schmidt era, such an admission of the gap only heightened the calls to experiment this week against Georgia.
What will we learn from seeing the likes of CJ Stander, Conor Murray and Keith Earls take on an undercooked Georgian side presently ranked 12th in the world and coming to Dublin having been nilled by both England and Wales in the past fortnight?
Not much goes the argument but the calls for greater experimentation ignore the reality - fixtures like these rarely do the newcomers to the team any favours.
McCloskey provides the evidence.
The Ulster centre was relatively new on the scene when coming into the side to take on England at Twickenham in the Six Nations of 2016 but his lack of further opportunity under Schmidt hinted, in hindsight, that this was a selection borne more out of necessity than desire for the Kiwi coach.
By most accounts, McCloskey acquitted himself well on debut in Twickenham but his chances would be limited thereafter to run outs in much-changed second-string or experimental line-ups in the Novembers of 2017 and '18.
"It seems like a long time ago now, looking back on it, but the England game is nearly five years ago now. I remember playing in it and thinking I did alright, I just didn't get another go," he said.
"The two games I had, I played alright, (but) I was playing Fiji and the USA and unless you're tearing it up against them you're not getting another opportunity."
While team selection is based on much more than just what we see between the white lines for 80 minutes at the weekend, there is the sense that, in games such as these, it is harder to play your way into the selection mix than it is to play your way out of it.
As McCloskey notes, without standing head and shoulders above not just the limited opposition but also your team-mates, your international prospects are likely to take a considerable hit.
Worth remembering too, of course, that McCloskey's experience comes framed by his position as one of the form players in Ireland at PRO14 and Champions Cup level over the same period.
And while the calls to see the likes of Eric O'Sullivan, Craig Casey, Harry Byrne or Ryan Baird thrown into the Test mix were understandable too, McCloskey's experience is far from unique.
When Ireland last played Georgia, six years ago now in the November of 2014, the Irish were coming off their first Six Nations title since the 2009 Grand Slam and the game was viewed as the last chance to blood some new players before the next year's World Cup.
Dave Foley, Dominic Ryan and Robin Copeland all made their debuts that day in Dublin. That trio would combine for just one further cap. And it wasn't just the debutants that found further international chances hard to come by.
Looking at the team from that day, Dave Kilcoyne is really the only name that jumps out as someone whose international prospects are better now than then and even that took the Munster man several more years.
For the record, that team of players on the fringes and largely destined to remain there were plenty good enough to win by a margin of 42 points.
Rather than an isolated quirk of selection, though, it is more part of a trend that shows us just how hard it is to stake a claim in such mismatches.
In 2016, a week on from beating the All Blacks in Chicago, Schmidt's 15 changes for the visit of Canada included eight selected for the first time.
Two of that group - Billy Holland and Nyi Adeolukun - have yet to pull on the green jersey again while Jack O'Donoghue has won just one further cap.
While Garry Ringrose is one obvious exception, none of the other first-cappers from that game have come close to double-digit starts.
For Ringrose in 2016, read James Ryan, Andrew Porter and Jacob Stockdale in the summer tour to Japan and USA in 2017.
Those that seemed pre-determined for further international honours went on to claim them, the rest given their first chance in horribly lop-sided games have more often than not remained on the outside looking in. And on and on it goes.
It's against this somewhat foreboding backdrop that five Ulstermen get a chance to stake a claim for 2021 that they'd have been hoping would come sooner in this autumn.
While Iain Henderson and Stockdale are already firmly established regulars in this arena, they've endured disjointed windows.
Tomorrow marks Henderson's first Ireland start since Wales back in the second game of the Six Nations, any rhythm he hoped to build over this slate spoiled first by suspension and then the medical issue that saw him miss out against Wales at the start of this tournament.
Stockdale missed that game too thanks to a calf issue and, while he'll have been pleased to make a positive contribution last week against England, he'll have been itching to get back into the starting line-up earlier than now.
And Billy Burns would have ideally had his first start come last week against England while after a solid Six Nations Rob Herring has had to watch Ronan Kelleher get an extended look.
Regardless of the recent history of such fixtures though, you can only play the hand you're dealt. If, as McCloskey says, you need to tear it up in games like this to get noticed, then their only option is to do just that.