Jordan Larmour stepped in at the 11th hour and produced a stunning showing at full-back for Ireland that did not escape the attentions of his head coach Joe Schmidt.
With Rob Kearney struggling with a tight calf, the 21-year-old was a late promotion to the starting XV for his first-ever Guinness Six Nations start.
But the 21-year-old took to it like a duck to water, producing a fine individual display in the 26-14 victory.
“I thought he linked well with the back three sometimes, he brought the back three in and linked. I thought it was a really good performance from Jordan.
“It was a real pressure cooker. Yesterday he’s not starting at all, Rob is starting. This morning he gets told the calf is still tight.
“It’s you young fella, you’re up at No.15 and he almost rubbed his hands together and said alright, thanks, I’m delighted.”
Right from the kick off, Larmour looked composed and produced a fine kick in the first minute of play that turned Damian Penaud and forced the France winger to concede a lineout – from which Rory Best eventually scored the opening try.
“His first involvement was special, finding that space into the corner, forcing Damian Penaud to put the ball into touch after the kick receipt,” added Schmidt.
“That was super. I’m sure it gave him a spring in his step that his first involvement was positive and on the back of that he built a number of other good positive involvements.
“He was probably a little bit lucky that Damian Penaud knocked the ball on from the cross-kick and that’s one of the things that as a full-back, he’s still learning to get into the right position at the right time.”
And then in the second half, the Leinster tyro produced one of the moments of the match with a scything break through the middle.
His twinkling toes turned French defenders inside out until he was brought down just short of the line.
“I thought he was going to work his way back up the pitch at one point to make sure he beat everyone.
“Unfortunately somebody catches up with him and it happens to be Mathieu Bastareaud who nearly killed him. He’ll learn a bit from that, to get through and step and go as opposed to step, step and step again.