Leinster centre Kieran Lewis reckons his involvement in last month's three-day Ireland training camp was "another step on" in his development as an international player.
Having won his first senior Ireland cap as a second half replacement in June's second Test against Japan, Lewis is itching for further involvement in the Irish set-up and will have his fingers crossed for a role, however partial, in next month's autumn Test series.
Lewis used last month's camp as a confidence builder for the season ahead.
"It (making the Irish squad) was made an awful lot easier by getting onto the Japan tour," said the St Mary's man.
"There was a lot of young guys in the squad, so it was a great tour for me to come in on and get used to the system and the people involved.
"But the training squad was another step on. A lot of the Lions guys came back and there was certainly a different feel to it. I was happy with how it went and I learned a lot."
Lewis is in the unenviable position of competing with Leinster, Ireland and Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll, amongst others, for a midfield position at both provincial and international level. But the 25-year-old would not have it any other way.
"People always say it's a tough position to be in - being behind Brian O'Driscoll - but in my first two years as a professional rugby player, I have to say, having that type of quality around you, was brilliant for my development," added Lewis.
"Now at this stage, the development is fine, but I'd like to be getting into the (Leinster) team. The quality is still there, but I really do think I'm in with a shot.
"I wouldn't have stayed with Leinster this year if I thought I had no chance of playing. So I still believe I could play on the wing, or in the centre.
"I will get my chance at some stage this year and it's just a case of me taking it when it arrives."
Lewis has made three appearances for Leinster in this season's Celtic League so far. He started the province's season opener against the Ospreys at outside centre, kept the number 13 jersey and scored a try in their next game against Glasgow and also started the Donnybrook win over the Dragons last month.
However, the reintroduction of Lions duo Shane Horgan and Gordon D'Arcy to Michael Cheika's side in recent weeks has seen Lewis confined to the bench.