Leinster head coach Leo Cullen was made to chuckle at a press conference last December after he was informed that one of Ireland's preeminent rugby pundits had written a piece questioning the origin of his red-hot prop.
Up to that point Tadhg Furlong had collected 11 international caps on the back of 56 appearances with his province, leading Cullen to wonder aloud whether the aforementioned writer had actually been watching the Blues in action over the last three seasons.
Those two statistics have risen to 16 and 67 respectively and the 24-year-old is almost certain to add one or three British and Irish Lions Test caps to that collection in the coming weeks.
Both Cullen and Ireland boss Joe Schmidt's use of the tighthead prop in the games that mattered over the last several months have provided further evidence of how much Furlong's star has risen over the last two years.
"The more that's talked about him, the more pressure it brings but he is coping with this. Tadhg kept chipping away but when he got that run he grasped it with both hands. His progress has been such that he now looks good for the Lions," Cullen predicted correctly back in April.
Having shared an international and provincial rugby dressing room with the Wexford-native, Jamie Heaslip knows Furlong inside-out but he speaks of a different type of oval ball when looking for a comparison.
"He's like LT Taylor. Lawrence Taylor in American Football," the Leinster and Ireland number 8 told 98FM Sport's Stephen Doyle today.
The two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, for those not au fait with the world of gridiron, is credited with revolutionising the linebacker position.
"I think he's changing the tighthead position," continues Heaslip, "In terms of the ability of the tighthead around the field and then his ability in the actual dark arts of scrumming.
"I know from being around him and talking to him, he is always constantly learning to be a better professional and how to be a better pro on the actual rugby field, off the rugby field, how he prepares, how he recovers, all those facets. He's hungry to learn, learn, learn, learn, learn!
"But he's also a well balanced guy. He's not all about rugby. I think you can't be all about one thing in life, you've got to have a balance and he's very much like that.
"I think he has a great chance to get that [Lions] Test jersey."
As head coach - Ian McGeechan led the Lions to two Test series wins and he would not have any reservations about throwing a young or lesser experienced player into the mix if they're good enough.
"Well, having done it with Paul Wallace and Tom Smith in 1997, I'll have to be careful what I say," McGeechan says with a wry smile.
"He [Furlong] was my bolter, if you like, for the Lions back in November. I liked what I saw in Chicago, in the game against New Zealand.
"He's shown the lessons he's learned and how he's grown in the game very quickly, and some players do that. I thought he played well in the Six Nations. He's a natural ball carrier but he's a good defender as well."
In fact, McGeechan went as far as to say that the Ireland international epitomises everything that is good about the 2017 Lions squad.
"He almost reflects the flexibility of what this Lions squad has and what it will need to beat New Zealand.
"That you need players who, yes, can do all the grunt of the set-piece and the breakdowns but also if they find themselves freed up can carry a ball and can handle ball. And I think that's where he's been consistently so good.
"So, he's an exciting prospect and I've been really pleased just watching him since the games back in November time, on the consistency he's shown as a young player."
But a word of warning from the four-time Lions head coach.
"I think you don't want to overplay him but certainly, the experience he's had and the way he's played, mentally he looks ready for it.
"Once you get comfortable in international rugby, mentally you're there. So I don't think your age matters.
"He's obviously powerful enough, strong enough for the set-piece work. You just don't want to overplay him and I think probably we'll see him in early games on the tour and some of it will be to see front row combinations that come out of it because I think there are some big decisions to be made at 1 and 2 as well."
Whether Furlong makes the cut or not, the picture will become a little clearer over the next couple of weeks as the action gets underway with the first warm-up match against the NZ Provincial Barbarians kicking off on Saturday morning while the first Test against the All Blacks takes place on June 24.
Read & Listen: Ian McGeechan Expects Warren Gatland To Use Sexton & Farrell Axis