Luke Fitzgerald's performance in Leinster's 33-14 victory over Scarlets in Pool Five was undoubtedly an added bonus for the Heineken Cup champions on Saturday.
Fitzgerald was the standout performer on wet night at the RDS in Dublin, with the 25-year-old behind most of Leinster's best moments against the Welsh club, rightly getting a standing ovation from the crowd.
He returned to the fold a week previous against Edinburgh in the RaboDirect Pro12, and he capped off what has been a promising fortnight with a second-half try against Scarlets.
Understandably, there is now a fresh wave of optimism sweeping across Leinster and Irish rugby, with Fitzgerald sure to push Keith Earls and Simon Zebo for a place on Declan Kidney's wing - or even perhaps a role at centre.
When he broke onto the scene, he was named Ireland's Young Player of the Year in 2005, bringing him to the attention of the nation. Shortly after, he became the youngest player to represent Ireland in 29 years.
Aged 22, Fitzgerald was part of Kidney's side which won the 2009 Six Nations crown, earning him a call-up to the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa that summer. The world was his oyster as he could do no wrong.
But a knee injury in a match against Australia cut his 2009/10 season short, ruling him out for the remainder of the season - and it's got to be said, we never saw Fitzgerald hit the pre-2009 heights again.
For all the success stories in sport, there are far more heart-wrenching failures such as the news that former Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson had been released by the Premier League champions.
Bursting onto the scene at the age of 17, Johnson scored a memorable solo-goal against Derby County, prompting then City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson to declare that the youngster was a future England star.
Fast forward seven years, Johnson has gone on to make a handful of first-team appearances for the Citizens - due to injury and off-field distractions - and he was finally released at Christmas vastly overweight (for a professional footballer at least) and with so much unfulfilled potential.
Fizgerald's story, while nowhere near as dramatic, could have ended in the same fashion - a premature end. After returning to action in 2010, he struggled to get back into the Ireland side - and crucially - his form was deserting him.
He did start the 2011 season well, but a niggling neck injury meant Fitzgerald was forced to go under the knife last spring to tackle the problem. He was fast becoming the forgotten man of Irish rugby.
Of course, it should be added, with the IRFU withdrawing a contract offer from the table as Fitzgerald struggled with injuries, and the promising star only agreeing a one-year deal with his province, he could quite literally become Ireland's forgotten man with a potential move to England or France being touted.
And that's why his return has been so impressive. He's dusted down the cobwebs and looks like the player of old. The Leinster star showed desire to get on the ball and making things happen against the Scarlets.
Of course, we can't get carried away and declare Fitzgerald a new man based on two performances. His challenge will be to nail down a regular Leinster starting spot before fighting his way back into Ireland contention.
If Fitzgerald can continue to improve and impress over the next few months, then he can get his club and international career on track. Some view him as Brian O'Driscoll's natural successor - and at 25 - he's got time on his side.
So while it's all very exciting, Fitzgerald has more work to do to convince everyone that he can have a major say in the future of Irish rugby - but the early signs are positive.