When Jordie Barrett did the near impossible in the second half of the North v South match in Wellington a few weeks ago by lining up and flattening his Hurricanes teammate Ardie Savea across the touchline, he took a step towards earning a start on the right wing for the All Blacks on Sunday.
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More recently he lined up a kick from near halfway in Christchurch and helped take the Ranfurly Shield off Canterbury.
That was another step.
We'll find out on Friday morning where Barrett figures in Ian Foster's plans against Australia at Sky Stadium on Sunday in what will be Foster's first test as All Blacks head coach, but given Barrett's form for the Hurricanes, Taranaki and the South and what he can offer in terms of his extra height in the wide channels, goalkicking and increasingly brutal defence, it wouldn't surprise to see the 23-year-old named in the No14 jersey alongside his brother Beauden at fullback.
For Jordie it will be a victory not only over his excellent wing rival Sevu Reece, the incumbent, but also for his development after an excellent start to his All Black career – he scored a try in his first start (the third test against the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in 2017) and has a total of 11 tries in 17 tests – and a fair few frustrations since.
In the middle of last year, Foster's predecessor Steve Hansen issued what amounted to a warning or at least a public reminder for the 1.96m Barrett to stand down occasionally. "He's in a hurry, no matter what he does," Hansen said at the time.
The problem was Barrett, clearly an enormously talented prospect, wanted everything and he wanted it now. And when that didn't happen his frustration affected his performances.
"Once you start trying to force things you become a little erratic," Hansen added. "He's a very, very good player. By the time he gets to 24, 25 he's going to be an outstanding player."
The message didn't quite get all the way through. Barrett, a replacement in the World Cup semi-final defeat to England in Yokohama last year, felt he saw an attacking opportunity near his own line when the All Blacks were chasing the game and played his cards accordingly when a better option was to clear and start again.
England came up trumps on that occasion as they did in general in that game but the important thing for Barrett is that he now appears to have developed into a far more rounded and reliable player without losing his attacking instincts. And, as he showed with that tackle on the rampaging Savea, he can hit like a sledgehammer.
He is also clearly a very tall outside back and a potential nightmare for opposing teams attempting to defend cross kicks, an art which most Kiwi No10s, and in particular Richie Mo'unga, have become particularly good at.
The selection of the All Blacks' outside backs for these two Bledisloe Cup tests may be the hardest task for Foster as he settles into the hot seat vacated by Hansen after the World Cup. Reece or Jordie Barrett? Incumbent George Bridge or the resurgent Rieko Ioane?
All four can make excellent cases for inclusion but of the quartet perhaps Barrett has presented the most compelling.
It's imperative for the All Blacks to begin this new phase under Foster with a victory over their old foe and Barrett's continued development and ability to play a power game and kick goals from his side of halfway may get him the nod. If so it will be a triumph for perseverance and a talent which may not reach its peak for another few years yet.