Wallabies star Samu Kerevi has paid tribute to Beauden Barrett as helping him mature into one of the best centres in world rugby.
Kerevi has been instrumental in the Wallabies' three-match win streak, the team's first since 2017, which included consecutive wins over the world champion Springboks and a 27-8 victory over the Pumas last Saturday.
His pace and power in the Australian midfield has earned him plaudits from the likes of Pumas coach Mario Ledesma, who said Kerevi was the difference in their Rugby Championship clash over the weekend, while the Sydney Morning Herald labelled the Wallabies powerhouse "the world's best centre".
Kerevi revealed that a long-time rival in Barrett played a big role in helping him get his game to where he is at the moment during their time as teammates at Suntory Sungoliath in Japan's Top League.
"He actually helped a lot," Kerevi told the Sydney Morning Herald. "He was an open book for me, over there. On Wednesdays, we would have extras and stuff and I would just tag along with him.
"I think for him, the biggest thing I took out of it was simplicity. Simple skill set, simple kicking, simple things done really, really well.
"The amount of time he puts into his work, I wanted to do the same. Picking up extra passing on a day off or extra kicking on a day off on top of recovery stuff, which he's big on.
"It's all of those little things that add together. Over time, you keep building that and it becomes a habit. In times of pressure in the game, you fall back into habits."
Barrett isn't the only All Blacks figure that has been influential in Kerevi's career, with the 28-year-old saying he has taken inspiration from Ma'a Nonu and wants to model his game after the former All Blacks second five.
"Someone that inspired me was Ma'a Nonu. Seeing a player like that transform his skill set is something I want to get to one day. Adding armour to the armoury," Kerevi said.
"That's where I want to get to. Having armoury in the armour. It's just about progressing. Never being happy with where I am and always having a glass half full view of performances and, obviously, trying to be consistent.
"I know what I'm good at, as well. I know my ball carries can be strong, and the offload space.
"It doesn't mean I have to park that. I definitely keep training that and the connections I have with other centres – especially Lenny (Len Ikitau). It's an evolving piece that I want to keep improving."
If recent performances are anything to go by, Kerevi could be well on his way to taking up Nonu's mantle and claiming the title of the best centre in the game.
However, the former Queensland Reds star wasn't willing to accept the tag, pointing to his All Blacks counterpart David Havili as the man who he believes currently holds the title.
"I think, right now, as a centre that's got the whole package, for me, would be David Havili," he said.
"I think the performances he's put in with the Crusaders, watching those games, and then earning the No 12 jersey with the ABs - it's a hard ask.
"They have some outstanding players and as a package of a player, he's been playing really well in that space. He's played fullback, he communicates well, he's great under the high ball and has a great kicking game - he's brought that to 12 as well.
"He may not have all the line breaks or bumping people off, but it's the little things in his game. People don't really see that, but as a centre, I watch it."