Flying from Tokyo to Oita to prepare for the All Blacks' next game against Canada simply wasn't on Sevu Reece's itinerary earlier this year.
"I didn't think it would come this far in the same year," Reece told Newshub's Ross Karl.
Never mind rookie nerves - suddenly, he is a key to the All Blacks World Cup chances and was the spark in their opening victory against South Africa on Saturday.
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Reece seems like someone who doesn't question himself… who just runs on instinct.
"I think it's the only way to get over it - just to go," he says.
All Blacks and Crusaders teammate Richie Mo'unga agrees: "It's a big reason why he's in the team, because he backs himself."
And his presence can lift a team.
"He can just create something from nothing, can't he?" says fellow winger George Bridge.
If Reece hadn't lost a contract in Ireland because of an assault charge last year, he might have played for Fiji instead.
Forced to stay in New Zealand, the Waikato and Crusaders winger was courted by Fiji coach John McKee.
"I showed him my plan and what I wanted to do in rugby - and that was in the black jersey," says Reece.
He dreamed of emulating fellow Fijian All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu, when he shifted from the Pacific Islands to Hamilton Boys High as a teenager.
Attack coach Ian Foster is impressed by the 22-year-old's mistake-free rugby smarts to match his brilliance.
"Don't be fooled by the little magician stuff," says Foster. "He puts a lot of work into his game."
Although, Reece admits he's still learning the All Blacks systems.
"Especially as wingers, you have to be in the right place," he says. "Fifty-50s on whether to be up or go back… I could help out my fullback more."
A complete Sevu Reece is a scary proposition for opposition.
Join us on October 2 for live updates of the All Blacks v Canada Rugby World Cup clash