Whanganui has a brand new All Black in its midst after Cullinane College old boy Brett Cameron was named in the wider squad for the Vista 2018 All Blacks Northern Tour to Japan and Europe.
In addition to the 32-man main All Blacks squad named on Monday, the All Blacks selectors have named a wider squad of 19 players, who will assemble in Japan following the Bledisloe Cup test to prepare for the test against Japan on November 2.
This is the squad Cameron has been named in. He is the only first five named in that wider squad.
He will be the first Whanganui player to don the black jersey since 24-test veteran and current starting line-up winger Waisake Naholo.
Cameron concedes the last few days have been "crazy", but he needs to put the excitement aside as he focuses on more immediate rugby goals.
The just turned 22-year-old is the starting first five eighth for defending Mitre 10 Cup champions Canterbury who take on Tasman in a semifinal clash in Nelson this weekend.
"This (selection) came completely out of the blue and it's pretty exciting," Cameron said from Christchurch yesterday.
"Super Rugby was definitely an aspiration after hopefully a good Mitre 10 Cup season, but I definitely didn't think about that. It certainly came as a big surprise ... I don't think it will sink in for a little bit but it's definitely pretty cool.
"It's been a pretty crazy few days. I'm not sure when we go into camp. It will depend on what happens with the Mitre 10 Cup. We play Tasman in the semifinal this weekend and hopefully the final the following weekend. I'm not sure how it will work, but I am in the squad to play the test against Japan."
Before secondary school, Cameron played in the junior grades for the Marist Rugby Club, but was then committed to playing for Cullinane College.
His final season in the Cullinane 1st XV was in 2014 when he left school for Lincoln University in Christchurch where he made an immediate impact, playing for the Canterbury provincial team.
Cameron came of age in the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup, making an assured performance in the semifinal in just his third provincial outing for the red and blacks, as Canterbury marched to the Mitre 10 Cup title.
Cameron first came onto the national radar in 2014 when he was plucked from Whanganui's small Cullinane College and named in the inaugural New Zealand Schools training squad.
The all-round sportsman was already well known in Whanganui, having played age-grade rugby.
Last season he was in the New Zealand Universities squad to tour Japan, but only had one game before being injured.
Aside from his rugby prowess, Cameron was also a dab hand at cricket and captained the Central Districts Under-17 team with fellow All Black Jordie Barrett as a team mate.
Cameron played his club cricket for Marist as a wicketkeeper/batsman and those with an astute eye for the game believe he was destined for bigger things had he chosen the summer code over rugby.