When Craig Casey made his first steps for Ireland during the Six Nations, the nature of the global situation at the time meant family were not on hand to see him make an impression against Italy in Rome.
But with restrictions easing, the Munster scrum-half had a more familiar audience on hand at the Aviva Stadium as he made a late appearance as a substitute against Japan on Saturday.
"It was great. I know there were only 3,000 people in there but just the roar of a crowd again is so good and we were so happy just to have a crowd in there again," the 22-year-old said, adding that he was looking forward to the 6,000 attendance for this Saturday's test against USA.
"Playing in front of my parents - I actually had 10 people there - somehow they all managed to get tickets. I had my two rugby mad cousins that are about seven and five and I think the seven-year-old knew every single player on the pitch on Saturday, so it was great to have him in as well.
"But it's class to play in front of family and hoping to do so again this weekend."
Casey made his entrance two minutes from the end against Japan, which was a far shorter run-out than when he made his debut months earlier. But he feels circumstances dictated that the restricted number of minutes.
"I understood the situation because obviously Chris (Farrell) went down fairly early with the head knock and that wasn't nice to see. Then Billy (Burns) came into the team and Joey (Carbery) moved to centre and that was all quite weird," he said.
"And then with Jordan (Larmour) going off early with his injury, we wouldn't have wanted to have seen a forward on the wing or playing with 14 men with 10 minutes to go against a Japan side.
"Obviously, you want more minutes and I think every player wants to play as much as they can but for the team's sake it was the only thing that could have happened. Luckily we got the win and it paid off. No complaints there really."
Having seen Japan play their vibrant attacking style at close quarters, Casey insisted that Ireland are also looking to implement an "attractive style" under Andy Farrell.
"We scored five tries at the weekend and we could easily have scored eight I think," he added.
"Five tries against a tough Japan side is quite good and I think you can see where we're going with the rugby that we're playing."