Harry Wilson's path to the Wallabies was set by his first coach in the NSW country town of Gunnedah.
Not an unusual story, except his first coach was Tim Gavin - one of Australia's greatest No.8s.
And now Wilson, also a No.8, is on the cusp of Wallabies selection for next month's opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Wellington, tussling with Pete Samu for the starting jersey.
The 20-year-old recalled he knew Gavin, who returned to the farming town of 10,000 at the end of his career, was a Wallaby but didn't realise what that meant.
"It's pretty surreal - my first five years of rugby was for the Gunnedah Red Devils and Tim coached me each year," Wilson said from Australia's training base in the NSW Hunter Valley.
"I knew he was a Wallaby but I was too young to realise what that meant but since then I have learned a lot about him.
"I guess it's pretty lucky that when you're growing up in a country town you get coached by a great Wallaby."
The Queensland Red said his father Cameron was a close mate of Gavin, while he has also stayed in regular contact with him.
While Gavin missed the Wallabies' 1991 World Cup triumph through injury, he was part of the Australian teams that went regularly went toe to toe with the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup during his 47-Test career.
LIkened to a young Toutai Kefu, Wilson hoped he could be part of a new era, ending the 18-year Bledisloe Cup drought.
He played in the Australian under-20 team that beat New Zealand last year and made the 2019 World Cup final.
Other Wallabies squad members from that squad include Noah Lolesio, Fraser McReight and Trevor Hosea and Wilson said they carried no scars from All Black beat-downs.
"That's the past, they've won the past, but there are so many new people in here and a lot of us haven't lost to them," he said.
"And even the ones who have, Australia has been improving a lot recently.
"That's the past and now we've got new coaches, a new squad here, so it's a fresh start and we'll look forward to it."
Australian Associated Press