In 2010 Israel Dagg made a hugely impressive test debut for the All Blacks at fullback. He was young, quick, innovative and instinctive, and he had been pushing for higher recognition since he made the Hawke's Bay team when he was still at school.
A year after making his debut he usurped veteran Mils Muliaina as the first choice fullback and lit up the World Cup with his ability to break defences and see things no one else could.
He remained first choice fullback until 2015, when all of a sudden his form deserted him. The confidence had gone. The pace appeared to have been taken by constant injury, and indecision gripped him.
He didn't look the same player. He was barely able to have any influence when he played and to no one's surprise, he was left out of the 2015 World Cup squad.
It appeared that at just 27, his international career was over. No one could see how he could turn it around. His number was up – no one expected to see him again in a test jersey and the expectation was that he would be heading o shore to cash in.
But he had surgery on a damaged shoulder at the end of 2015, rested for months and, against all the odds, returned to action with the Crusaders in 2016 and had wound the clock back.
He was his old self. The pace was back. His confidence returned. He trusted his instincts and he was brilliant. The All Blacks had him back in their squad by June and he won his 50th cap against Wales, playing superbly.
“I was going to make some rash decisions and leave to get away from it,” Dagg said in June 2016 about the period after the World Cup. “But I took the time to breathe. It wasn't about trying to prove anyone wrong or prove anything to anyone else. I just had to go out there and find why I play this game...and I play this game because I love it. I have fun and I have fun expressing myself, representing my family, my country and the Crusaders.”