Of all the challenges that lie ahead of Maro Itoje in what Eddie Jones predicts will be his toughest year yet, it appears that trying to find ambition is not one of them.
Having missed out on England's successful autumn campaign with a broken hand, Itoje has already set his sights on winning back his spot in Jones's starting XV, despite the impressive displays by Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes.
Yet if the 22-year-old is humble enough to limit his public ambitions to regaining his form at Saracens, continuing with their Champions Cup trip to Sale Sharks on Sunday, then his director of rugby, Mark McCall, has revealed that behind the scenes his protégé is driven on by the same zeal and focus that underpinned Owen Farrell's meteoric rise to the international stage.
McCall is certain that Itoje, who has already been trailed as a future England captain, also has the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in his sights.
"Owen Farrell at the same age had the same drive and the same single-mindedness and the same focus," McCall said.
"[They play in] different positions but are similar kinds of characters in that respect - different in other respects so there are people who have been like him but it has happened really fast for him and everyone thinks the improvement will stop but he doesn't look like he is going to stop.
"I don't see him stopping. He also has goals of his own - the Lions tour at the end of the summer, I am sure he won't talk about that, he will want to get back in the England squad because he missed the autumn internationals.
"That is going to be his drive but all of those goals, Maro is a very ambitious young man and his drive will be to get on that Lions tour."
Sale experienced at first hand a glimpse of that fearsome determination in the 50-3 drubbing at Allianz Park last weekend when Itoje screamed with delight at disrupting the opposition's line-out. It was a routine moment when the contest was already beyond doubt. Yet Itoje reacted like he had just won the World Cup.
"The thing for us is no matter the situation of the game we don't want to let the pressure off," said Itoje of his reaction. "We want to keep doing as much as we can to try and keep the pressure on the opposition as much as possible. I was doing my small part in that and perhaps sometimes I can get a little bit carried away and I suppose that is just the way I am.
"I try to energise myself and hopefully I can help energise the rest of my team. The most significant way you can have a positive influence on your team would be to first and foremost play well yourself and then your other action vocally and verbally hopefully have a positive impact that way."
It is the kind of commitment that McCall craves in his side. "He is just incredibly determined - you can see that. I like the dynamic that has been created," McCall added.
"Joe Launchbury played for Wasps and he was outstanding and it makes George Kruis and Maro want to be a little bit better for next week. They are motivated individuals anyway. You could see from Maro at the weekend that he had the bit between his teeth and it really meant something to him."
A plate remains in his hand from the surgery for the broken knuckle he sustained against the Scarlets in October, but apart from some swelling and scar tissue, he feels that injury has not broken his step. He feels the break from the game has allowed him to improve his conditioning.
"It was my first injury," Itoje added. "I felt as if I dealt with it well. Once you are injured there is not much you can do in terms of moping around. I used it as an opportunity to work on other aspects, hopefully get a bit stronger and a bit fitter so I like to think and I hope to prove in the coming weeks that I have come back a little bit better than I was when I was playing.
"It was not ideal timing in terms of getting injured with the autumn series. That would have been my first autumn series and it is a great run of games to be a part of and involved with.
"Hearing from the guys they said they had fun - they said they worked really hard and it showed on the pitch. I went to most of the games and watched them play and I thought they did phenomenally well during the autumn.
"Obviously I would have loved to be involved but this time it wasn't meant to be so I will lick my wounds and make sure I am fit for next time."
Jones, ever the motivator, last week suggested that Itoje would now be targeted by opponents like a young cricketer who makes a couple of hundreds on his Test debut.
It is a prospect that does not concern Itoje however. "I definitely think that for me individually, the hard work starts now," Itoje said. "Last year was a tough year, but most things went our way in terms of club and country. This year it's a new challenge, and when new opportunities come everyone will be more competitive.
"For me, it's about paying attention to my own game, and to focus on myself. I'm only 22, I've got a lot more to develop. I'm surrounded by great coaches, and great players as well. And I think I'm humble enough to know that I'm nowhere near the finished article - and that if I stay complacent that will ultimately lead to my decline."