Boom back-rower Pete Samu is equal parts stunned and rapt to be training with the Wallabies but he bluntly credits New Zealand coaching for his meteoric rise.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Samu has come from the Christchurch clouds to force his way into Australia's squad for the three-Test series against Ireland starting this Saturday.
His rampaging Super Rugby form as a loose forward for the competition pacesetters has deservedly earned the nod, albeit received at the 11th hour after a trans-Tasman tussle.
By recently signing for the Brumbies next season, the 26-year-old was eligible for Wallabies selection but as he was still contracted to Tasman in New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup it was held up until NZ Rugby granted a reluctant release on the weekend.
It's not the only Kiwi gift the shy Samu is thankful for.
After moving from Victoria, he had two stints in his early 20s for renowned Sydney club Randwick and was also a member of the NSW Waratahs' wider training squad.
But his career only started to take off when he crossed the ditch in 2014 and linked with Tasman, going from fourth grade to first grade in a week and then NPC level.
Samu, being sized up for a spot in Saturday's opening Test at Suncorp Stadium, admitted Kiwi coaching was "the biggest reason" he could return home a Wallabies player.
"It's probably all around the understanding of the game," he told rugby.com.au on Tuesday.
"When I was playing at Randwick I didn't really have much knowledge of the game and being over in New Zealand has really helped me out with that.
"It's helped me understand the game more and helped me understand how I can be a lot more effective around the park - things like that."
Samu said his three seasons in the Crusaders squad had further fine-tuned his game in the less fashionable departments.
"Definitely being at Randwick my lineout, scrum and defence wasn't really one of my main focuses," he said. "I just got better at it over there."
Vying with the likes of Queensland Reds Lukhan Tui and Caleb Timu for a back-row berth alongside Michael Hooper and David Pocock, Samu is still surprised to be eyeing a Test debut.
"I'm still coming to terms with it actually; it's always the dream to represent your country so to be part of the squad is pretty exciting," he said.
"When I made the decision to go over there I never thought I'd be back."