Ross Molony's natural leadership skills were rewarded with the captaincy for Leinster's final pre-season match against Bath last Friday night.
"I think it's important for me to apply myself as a senior player going into this year and putting myself in the best slot each week," said the 22 year-old.
Molony has put on the weight, moving from 108 kilos up to 112 kilos, to enable the second row to muscle into the argument to support Devin Toner as Leinster's other lock, not just in the PRO12, but for the Champions Cup too.
Mike McCarthy, Hayden Triggs, Ian Nagle and Mick Kearney will not exactly shrink from the challenge in a five into one equation that can't work.
"I learned a lot last year. You learn the most when you're playing and I was lucky enough to get the games that I got last year," he said, earning 21 of his 23 Leinster caps with thirteen starts.
"For me, it's important that I'm getting myself into the best position each week, staying fit and staying in contention for being selected."
The fast-developing Molony is now where Toner was two years ago, in terms of his special area of concern.
"From a technical point of view, breakdown would be a big thing for me," he shared.
"Looking at the All Blacks at the moment, you can see how effective they are.
"Sometimes they only send one person into each ruck, and just getting that body height and being able to target people as you approach the breakdown, and effecting it in a positive way."