Andrew Conway had to be patient in his quest to break through at international level but the Ireland wing is now making up for lost time.
Having made his first Six Nations start in the win over Scotland, Conway backed that up with an excellent try-scoring display in the bonus-point victory over Wales.
The Munster back has scored 10 tries in 20 Tests for Ireland and is keen to repay the faith shown in him by head coach Andy Farrell.
"It's a nervy time for anyone whenever a new coach comes in," said Conway, who was speaking to RTÉ 2fm's Game On.
"You don’t really know what their thoughts are on you personally. Where they see you fitting into the team, what type of balance are they looking for in a particular position?
It's now 10 tries in 20 international appearances for Andrew Conway. The @irishrugby winger told @docallaghan4 on @GameOn2FM about his patient wait to get to the top and his ambitions in a green jersey pic.twitter.com/W65edY8WxL— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) February 10, 2020
"That has obviously happened a lot with Munster over the years with different coaches coming in and people having different ideas, but this is the first time I’ve had it within the national set-up.
"Faz has been great, he’s backed me for the last two games which has been a massive confidence boost."
At 28, Conway is much older than his back three team-mates Jacob Stockdale (23) and Jordan Larmour (22), but at their age he admits that he was not ready to make the step up to international rugby.
"When I first came down to Munster (in 2013) I wasn’t at a level that was good enough to kick on," he said.
"I learned the hard way that wasn’t going to be good enough. Luckily enough, I learned at an age where I could take a step back and look at it from a holistic point of view and put plans in place to change that.
"That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a bit of time. I’m 28 now and that was my 20th cap, which is a nice number to hit but is still relatively small. I don’t think counting caps is the most positive thing to do, just making them count.
"Whenever I get into an Ireland jersey I want to do everything I can to put it in a good place and put in a performance that I’d be proud of."
Conway and the Ireland back three have started the Six Nations in red-hot form, and he revealed a change to team meetings is helping to bring out the best in them.
"It has probably been the most interactive it has been in camp," said Conway. "We're sitting down as a back three unit once a week, having a coffee and going over a few clips on the laptop with Richie Murphy, talking about what our unit brings to the team and what we need to be doing.
"It’s a chat over a coffee and what you end up getting out of those things is an open forum. Lads are giving their opinions as opposed to a classroom setting where you mightn’t want to interact in case someone disagrees.
"The coffee setting with mini groups is definitely a big step forward. We’re bouncing ideas off each other. Whenever everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet and we’re growing as a unit, then we’re all going to be growing as individuals as well."
Conway mixed his game up nicely against Wales, making three line breaks from his nine carries but also kicking intelligently.
"That’s the kind of shared responsibility we’re trying to get better at," he said. "It’s not just about a nine and ten putting us into good field position and the wingers chasing hard. You have to spread the responsibility across the board.
"If we move it to an edge and the space is there to run it, that’s what you do. But if through moving it to an edge that has pulled up the 15 and left space in behind, you have to have the ability and execution to follow through with a kick. That stems from the work you do privately.
"It’s really exciting to be playing in a team like that. The responsibility is there but also the freedom to move into space whenever it’s there."