He was not even in the initial touring party but few injury replacements have had as much impact on a British & Irish Lions tour as Alex Corbisiero.
The 24-year-old loosehead was a key figure in the Lions first and third Test wins after being called out to Australia after injuries to both Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins.
The Northampton Saints-bound prop had suffered an injury-hit year of his own with a long-standing knee problem but he did not waste any time settling into the touring party.
After an all-action performance in the first Test a calf problem ruled him out of the second but his return for the Sydney decider was vital, indeed Warren Gatland labelled him the man of the match in the 41-16 shellacking.
His scrummaging won penalty after penalty in the opening stanza as Leigh Halfpenny built a lead but it was his try that will live long in the memory.
The normally flawless Will Genia dropped the opening kick-off in front of a raucous crowd at the ANZ Stadium and the Lions were straight on the front foot.
And it was Corbisiero who did the damage in the end, burrowing his way over from the base of a ruck to put the tourists into the immediate ascendancy.
And the American born front-rower admitted after the clash that he had not quite appreciated how special a successful Lions tour would feel.
"I went from just being happy to be healthy and back playing, getting ready for a Test in Argentina, when all of a sudden I face a massive journey to Australia and I'm in the middle of a Lions tour," he said.
"There was an opportunity there and I tried to make the most of it. Playing in those Tests was incredible. The experience is very hard to describe, it was incredible.
"I underestimated how special a Lions tour is, so to experience it first hand was incredible.
"Being in the same dressing room with Paul O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll and Sam Warburton – the last three Lions captains in one team – is something I'll always remember.
"The last Test was incredible – the emotion, relief and euphoria of winning was very special.
"I was very happy with my all-round game in that final Test, my strength in the set-piece and what I did around the park. It was one of my best performances.
"For someone like Gatland – a man who I respect so much – to say that means a lot and gives me massive confidence for the new season.
"It was great to end such a tough season with that type of achievement. I'm healthy, rested and looking forward to pushing on with Northampton and England."