Carter Gordon is ready to step up to the biggest stage in World Rugby as the Wallabies' lone specialist flyhalf.
Gordon's sudden rise continued after the omission of Quade Cooper, leaving him all but confirmed as the starter for the World Cup with utility Ben Donaldson the only other player with playmaking experience.
Cooper and Gordon's relationship started well before the 22-year-old emerged as a superstar of the future, with the veteran half quick to throw his support behind the Rebel even after his own axing.
“I’ve learnt a lot from Quade and he’s been massive for my growth the last few months and we’re super close," Gordon told reporters
“He sent me a really nice message when the squad came out and he said he’s here for me and he’s going to continue to help me any way he can.
“That just shows you the person he is and how good of a bloke he is.”
Just 12 months ago, Gordon found himself in a similar situation at club land, preparing to fill the void left by Matt To'omua.
He spent the middle of the 2022 season coming off the bench before starting the final five games of the year.
Since then, Gordon's rise has been meteoric, emerging as one of the form Super Rugby halves before earning his debut during the Rugby Championship, even surprising himself.
“(World Cup) has always been a goal but last year I would’ve said you were kidding yourself (if you were to say I'd be picked)," Gordon reflected.
“I had a goal for this year to try and crack one of the Wallabies training squads and got to do that in the first April camp and then to be able to go along and the whole journey so far has been unreal.
“It’s been mind-blowing to me but obviously can’t wait to get to France.”
Gordon isn't reading too much into his listing as the lone ten in the squad, heading to France with a focused mindset of securing his spot for the future.
“‘Donno’ is in the squad and a few other boys can play ten so there’s always going to be competition for the jersey which is what you in the squad but to be running the show obviously I’m super keen to get back on the field and just play with the boys," he said.
“Being the only ten on the sheet doesn’t really mean too much to me. It’s more about getting better and still owning my spot because you can go out there and play some bad rugby and give it up.
“I’m growing as a player every day and doing everything I can to keep that jersey...You’re always striving to get better and be a better player so I would not say there’s ever really an element of being comfortable but defiantly a feeling of belonging just getting there and knowing that we’ve done the work and we’re here to win definitely gives you that sense.”