Lima Sopoaga had a cracking test debut. He was outstanding the first time he wore the All Blacks No 10 jersey in South Africa, 2015.
A test at Ellis Park remains one of the toughest challenges in world rugby and Sopoaga had everyone talking after he quite expertly navigated the All Blacks to a needed test win in the Republic before the World Cup.
But Sopoaga, who went on to win another 15 caps, didn't have so many great test moments after that.
If he did, no one can easily recall them and his only other start came in Brisbane last year when the All Blacks lost and his control of the game was tenuous.
What also became tenuous after that loss in Brisbane, was Sopoaga's grip on the All Blacks jersey.
He over delivered in his first test and through no fault of his own, had set public expectation a little too high which may have prevented many from seeing Sopoaga's real international career trajectory.
The truth is that Sopoaga may not have made the All Blacks squad this year had he stayed in New Zealand.
His place was under threat and he could see it. Coming up fast on the rails was Richie Mo'unga, a younger man and arguably a better player.
Trying to project 12 months ahead, Sopoaga would have been able to see that a year out from the World Cup, Mo'unga may well have the more compelling case for inclusion.
With Beauden Barrett a cast-iron certainty and Damian McKenzie's ability to play at fullback and change the pace and nature of any test off the bench, those two were always going to rank ahead of him.
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