Crusaders midfielder Jack Goodhue isn't surprised by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's success in his debut Super Rugby Pacific season for the Blues
The rugby league convert has had little trouble adjusting to the game, amid calls for him to be included in the All Blacks' squad for their three-test series against Ireland in July.
The former NZ Warriors captain has formed a formidable midfield partnership with Rieko Ioane, as the table-topping Blues look to carry their form into the playoffs.
Goodhue admits he tries to catch a Blues game when he can, and likes what he's seen so far of Tuivasa-Sheck this season.
"I haven't been surprised, " he said. "He's been good. What I like is he's brought what he's good at into the game, his footwork, taking it to the line.
"I think he's done awesome in his first year of rugby since schoolboy. He's been impressive.
"Physically, his skillset, he has it. It's just the game-understanding that comes the more work you put into it."
Tuivasa-Sheck and Goodhue face stiff midfield competition for the All Blacks with Quinn Tupaea, David Havili and Jordie Barrett all putting their hands up for selection in recent weeks.
Goodhue does boast the advantage of having played 12 and 13, and would happily line-up outside his former schoolboy rival against the Irish should the opportunity arise.
"I think he'd be easy to work with, he's a keen learner, I'd love to get the chance to play with him" he said.
"I remember him playing at schoolboy rugby when I was up at Auckland, he was impressive then and I've seen how hard he's been working as well to get up to speed with the new kinds of play."
The Crusaders will play the Reds in the first fixture of quarter-finals on Friday, a rematch of their win over the Queenslanders just last week.
Goodhue predicts a different-looking Reds outfit, and believes knockout rugby brings about an entirely new challenge.
"The Reds are going to be a different beast this week. They're going to come in, they're going to be physical and they're going to throw everything at us."
Join Newshub for live updates of the Crusaders v Reds Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final from 7pm Friday