British & Irish Lion Mike Phillips was kept out of the Ospreys starting XV by rookie scrum-half Rhys Webb and the region’s director of coaching Scott Johnson believes it might not be long until the 22-year-old takes his international shirt.
Webb picked up where he left off last season by winning the man-of-the-match award in the Ospreys’ 27-3 defeat of Heineken Cup champions Leinster.
With Phillips having now moved on to pastures new with Top 14 side Bayonne, Webb is likely to be getting plenty more game time in the RaboDirect Pro12.
And Johnson says playing between two players – No.8 Jonathan Thomas and fly-half Dan Biggar – who have international ambitions of their own, is only going to aid his cause.
“He's a good kid and he's shown great maturity,” Johnson said.”He's a young man with a young family and since the birth of his child, he's shown great maturity.
"If he keeps his head down, he'll be pressing for a (Wales) spot at some stage, which will be good for the national team.
"We are proud of where we are heading with a young group of Welsh players.
“But, at the front of him was an exemplary performance by a player [Biggar] who could by all rights be disappointed he’s not in New Zealand now.
“I thought Jonathan Thomas showed great leadership, great poise and great maturity. He was superb.”