The past 12 months have been a whirlwind for newly named All Black wing Sevu Reece.
The Fijian native was a revelation for the Crusaders this season, establishing himself as a deadly finisher with an educated boot and rock-solid defence through their historic third-straight Super Rugby campaign.
His form was too much for the selectors to ignore, and he repaid their faith with a statement two-try performance in the All Blacks' 36-0 rout of the Wallabies in their Bledisloe Cup rematch at Eden Park.
The cherry on top came Wednesday, when Reece was named to the All Blacks 31-man squad to defend the Rugby World Cup in Japan next month.
- Franks opens up on World Cup snub
- Jacobson 'on top of the moon' after World Cup call-up
- Five key talking points from All Blacks RWC squad
- Franks misses out on World Cup selection
- The Cup '19 podcast - Archive
"I guess I've just been enjoying myself," said Reece."Being happy, which allows me to just be out there and do my thing."
The 22-year-old was straight on the phone to Fiji to give his parents the good news after his weights session earlier had been cut short to hear his name officially announced, though it took a few attempts.
"Actually my mum was asleep so I had to ring her a couple of times. Dad was the first one to find out and he got so emotional. It's obviously a big achievement not just for me, but for my whole family back in Fiji."
But there have been some undeniable and well publicised lows in Reece's remarkable journey. Prior to his Crusaders lifeline, he had a contract with Irish club Connacht torn up in light after pleading guilty to common assault but was discharged without conviction, an incident that momentarily left his rugby career in limbo.
It only makes his most recent achievement all the more surreal, and Reece admits he's still wrapping his head around it.
"Definitely not [have pictured myself here]. I didn't think I'd come this far but things have turned around and I'm just really glad how things turned out for me and where I am today.
Now the focus for Reece lies in carrying the momentum from Auckland north to the land of the rising sun next month.
"It's just doing what we call homework. Doing all the training we've been given, then when we go and assemble back with the whole squad trying to be on top of everything, recovery… just nailing everything."
Join us for live updates of the 2019 Rugby World Cup from September 20