TIME spent playing with the premiership-winning SCU Marlins this season has turned one of the best local rugby league players into an Australian Rugby Sevens player.
Locky Miller has just returned from Fiji where he played for Australia in the Oceania Sevens.
The opportunity came after the 23-year old was selected to play in the Central Coast with an Australian Green development team.
Miller must've impressed the national selectors because days later he was on a plane to Fiji.
"When they gave me a ring to say that I could come down and play in the Central Coast Sevens I was pretty blown away. I tried to play it cool but obviously it didn't work," Miller said.
"After the last game there they sat me down and asked if I have a passport. I said 'yeah' and they said 'you're coming to Oceania with us next week'.
"So it was like bang-bang, a one-two hit. So that was a bit of a roller coaster but it was an awesome experience.
"I never thought for one second I'd be making a debut for Australia and getting a Test cap."
He's now played in a couple of Sevens tournaments - a code that until recently was fairly foreign to him.
Miller said being under the tutelage of Jarred Hodges and gaining experience on the field had improved his game enormously.
"Obviously having never played it before, with the training and everything it's really improved my knowledge of the game," he said.
"But now I've brought an element of calmness back. To have played at that high level, I know what to expect now if I ever do get a call-up again."
It was little more than a month ago when Miller was announced as co-coach of Sawtell's first-grade rugby league side.
The speedy utility said his new pursuit, and the international honours it brought, shouldn't be a concern for the Panthers.
"I've talked to Wal (club president Wal Klaassen) and Rod (Hardy) the other coach and they know how good an opportunity this is, so they're right behind me," he said.
"If anything does happen they'll be there to support me, so I'm pretty happy, pretty lucky too."
One thing his Sevens experience has given him is more ideas about pre-season training.
"I can bring back a little bit - a little bit of fitness, which the boys will no doubt love," he said sarcastically.
"But it's beneficial obviously to have that sort of training behind me."
Having had his first taste of playing in the green and gold, what's next for Miller?
"To represent your country in any sport is a massive honour so to represent Australia as much as possible would be my ultimate goal," he said.
"Other than that, the Commonwealth Games next year would be an amazing experience. But other than that to try and play to my potential in any code and just improve every day."