Were it not for a three-year sojourn in France, Wallabies rookie Dane Haylett-Petty believes he wouldn't be in line to play against Les Blues this weekend.
The late-blooming outside back has been a revelation for Australia this year, proving to be a steady option under the high ball and a devastating runner in attack since being thrust onto the wing in the June series against England.
So impressive has Haylett-Petty been starting all 12 Tests this season, there were calls for him to nudge Israel Folau out of the No.15 jersey and put the former NRL star into the centres.
But the 27-year-old credits his stint playing with French side Biarritz for developing him into the player which has become a rock for the Wallabies this season.
"Without a doubt. In Europe a lot of the teams play different styles of footy, so as a footballer it helped me round out my game," Haylett-Petty said ahead of Saturday's Test match against France in Paris.
"I learned a lot playing over here. It's definitely made me a better footballer for it.
"The whole experience, getting away from Australia and learning a new lifestyle and culture and a different style of rugby as a 21-year-old was an amazing experience.
"I've loved coming home and being able to pull on this Wallabies jersey since then."
Haylett-Petty has experience against the bulk of the talent-laden squad France has picked to take on Australia at Stade de France on Saturday - and is willing to offer his insights to the group.
He also won the Challenge Cup final in 2012 against a Jonny Wilkinson-led Toulon, a treasured memory for the utility back who cherishes his time in France.
"I love France. I love the lifestyle," he said.
"They're a rugby-mad country. I spent three seasons over here and loved every minute.
"Obviously it's great to be back and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."