He partners two of the ACT Brumbies' star back-rowers but Angus Allen is ready to make his stamp on the National Rugby Championship.
Allen will replace Wallaby Rob Valentini at No.8 for the Canberra Vikings' second-round clash with Queensland Country at Brisbane.
He joins Brumbies Will Miller and Pete Samu in the back-row, while Luke Gersekowski covers from the bench.
The 21-year-old has spent the last two weeks picking their brains and learning the ropes in preparation for his first start of the season.
"They've taken me under their wing and given me some tricks of the trade," Allen said. "It's definitely enforced me to take the next step up which is unreal."
Valentini joined the Wallabies squad for their clash with Samoa to ease the workload on the World Cup players.
Allen is hoping to make his own claim and bring something different to the No.8 jersey, rather than trying to fill the Wallaby's shoes.
"Rob is definitely more of a large, robust flanker whereas myself, I drive from the seven position," Allen said.
"So I'm more of a lurking player for the rest of the back line and able to get those turnovers for the team."
Allen played every match during the 2017 season when Canberra reached the championship decider.
The back-rower missed last year's competition with a broken ankle but impressed coach Nick Scrivener upon his John I Dent Cup return.
Scrivener didn't hesitate to hand him the No.8 jersey for their Queensland Country clash when Valentini answered his Wallabies' call.
"He's had a good local season, he's tough and he's experienced this level before which is one of the reasons why I've picked him," Scrivener said.
"He's versatile and can play across the back row. In a game where we want to slow down the opposition, I think he's going to be quite important."
Queensland Country are coming off a one-point loss to the Western Force in a high-scoring match in Perth.
Rod Seib's side scored seven tries in their season opener but conceded eight.
Scrivener said the Vikings will have to "improve to meet that challenge" and slow down Queensland's attack to control the match.
"They're a team who can score points quickly and have threats all over the place," Scrivener said.
"The key for us is to really slow them down and not turn it into a game of touch footy because when it's unstructured and quick, they're really good. We've got to get them into the grind.
"Historically they've been a strong team and we're playing away from home again. It's another challenge to us."
Queensland Country beat Canberra in the 2017 decider before making a second-straight grand final last year.
Meanwhile Vikings' Connal McInerney will by replaced by Lachlan Lonergan at hooker after suffering a hamstring injury on Thursday.
Tom Ross will make his return from injury on the bench and has been selected ahead of Nick Dobson to cover the front-row.
"It's time to get him underway so we're going to start that process by getting him off the bench," Scrivener said.
"He's done a lot of training in the background to get himself right, ticked all of the boxes and he's confident now."
NRC ROUND TWO
Sunday: Queensland Country v Canberra Vikings at Bond University, 3pm.