Max Deegan plans to use some of the "golden nuggets" of information gleaned from childhood hero Kieran Read when Leinster face the Scarlets on Friday.
Two-time Rugby World Cup winner Read was an interested onlooker at the Aviva Stadium as Leinster defeated Munster and the All Blacks legend rocked up to UCD for their training session on Monday.
"I would have grown up watching Kieran Read all the time," said fellow No 8 Deegan.
"He was an unbelievable player. The way he played the game, with his skillset and smarts, that's something that I’ve always tried to model my game on, especially growing up.
"Obviously you can’t be the exact same player but a lot of the things he brought to the game, I’ve always wanted to bring to my game.
"Seeing him in training and it was great chatting to him briefly, asking him a few little things, trying to get the odd golden nugget out of him.
"Hearing him speak on his time and us asking him different questions about his game and the different teams he was part of was excellent."
Deegan made his return to Leinster colours against Munster, having captained Emerging Ireland to victory in South Africa.
The three-match tour came in for criticism over its timing but Deegan found it extremely beneficial and believes it will aid his attempts to become a first-team regular with his province.
"It was a great experience over in South Africa," said the 26-year-old. "I got a real sense of being in a starting team consistently, and also that element of leadership was really good for me.
"I came back with a lot of confidence after working with Simon [Easterby], Paulie [Paul O'Connell] and Fogs [John Fogarty].
"It was nice to change up environments, see different perspectives on the game. I’ve come back with a lot of confidence and am enjoying my game at the moment.
"We’ll have a big block of games when we come back after the autumn internationals and I’d really be up for pushing into the main squad and hopefully a starting position."
Deegan is expected to retain his place when a much-changed Leinster travel to Parc y Scarlets and he is targeting another big performance before joining up with Ireland 'A’ ahead of their game against an All Blacks XV at the RDS on 4 November.
"A lot of lads have been sitting in the wings waiting for their chance," said Deegan. "They’re going to be unbelievably hungry for it this weekend.
"To finish off the block with seven wins would be amazing. It’s something we’re really looking to do.
"It’s nice to get a good run of games, obviously over in South Africa and then back playing against Munster and this weekend [against Scarlets] heading into the All Blacks game.
"I’m really enjoying playing this much rugby. I’m looking to just keep growing and getting better with every game."
Watch Munster v Ulster in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday from 4.45pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and follow a live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and RTÉ News app
Watch Ospreys v Connacht in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday from 7.30pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.