But least anyone think that the twenty four old came from nowhere to national prominence it should be recalled that he has been capped at several internationals levels in the past.
He plays his club rugby with St Mary's College and was out-half on the side that wrested the title from Munster club clutches for the first time, when they beat Lansdowne in May 2000. That year, McHugh was the leading points scorer (145pts) and scored a record 24 points in the game against Shannon.
He first won representative honours for Leinster at Youth (U18) level in 1996 and - as a member of Drogheda RFC - was a replacement on the International Youth side that season. The following year he captained the Irish Youth side in their wins against Wales (Anglesea Road) and Scotland (Stirling RFC) - with current international Shane Horgan alongside him.
A member of Leinster's Heineken Cup squad for the 1998/99 season, he has since transferred his allegience to the western province, a change that impacted directly on his old province, Leinster, on Friday night last (13th Sept).Whatever happens in Siberia on Saturday we'll be hearing a lot about Mark McHugh during the coming season.