Jordie Barrett can't be discounted as an All Blacks contender to face the British and Irish Lions, according to the Hurricanes coach staff.
Twenty-year-old Barrett captured attention with a compelling attacking display during the 41-15 defeat of the Highlanders on Saturday.
Making his second start of the campaign, in place of injured fullback Nehe-Milner Skudder, Barrett kicked adroitly and produced some defence-busting offloads.
With few chances to showcase his exceptional speed, Barrett nevertheless produced a performance of authority which assistant coach Richard Watt says came as no surprise to anyone at the Hurricanes.
Watt believes injuries to a couple of Test outside backs could thrust Barrett into contention for the three-Test series against the Lions in June and July.
"He'd definitely be in the frame, I'd think," Watt said.
"He might get lucky and there are injuries.
"The good thing about Jordie is his versatility. He could play anywhere in the backline apart from nine, which is pretty valuable to have."
The former New Zealand age group standout is the younger brother of player of the year Beauden Barrett.
Taller and arguably faster than the quicksilver Beauden, Jordie was selected to travel as an apprentice on last year's All Blacks tour of the northern hemisphere.
Watt says that experience will hold the youngster in good stead.
"They took him on the tour last year and I think they were pretty happy with him.
"And now he'll get some time to show his wares, with Nehe out for a while.
"But he's definitely not the finished product, he's got a massive amount to learn yet."