The early season resilience of Australia's Super Rugby teams and the emergence of players not previously on his radar are giving Wallabies coach Michael Cheika reasons to be cheerful.
Australia's four sides have logged 11 wins between them after round five this season, from a total of 18 games played.
It compares favourably over the same period last year where the five teams, which included the now defunct Western Force, had managed just six wins.
Cheika feels players are noticeably fitter and he wants them to carry that over into the international campaign that starts with three Tests against Six Nations champions Ireland in June.
"I'm pretty happy. I think they've all been showing different qualities of their own and a fair bit of resilience in some of their battles," Cheika said.
"Teams have already shown comebacks from difficult situations or overcoming some logistical battle, like we've seen the Reds do over this last little bit.
The Reds beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aires and claimed a bonus point after pushing the Stormers all the way in a six-point loss at Newlands.
"We're getting some wins on the board and I think some of the players are standing up and putting their name up there," Cheika said.
"From a selection point of view, (they) are probably not the traditional ones we've seen before."
Asked to name some of those players who had caught his eye, Cheika nominated Reds' backrower Caleb Timu and his backline teammate Chris Feauai-Sautia.
He said Brumbies halfback Joe Powell who played three Tests last year, had made an excellent start to the season.
"I'm keeping a list turning around, of what we see as maybe that top 45 and there's a few players started to move in there that have not been in our reckoning before,"Cheika said.
Cheika was pleased talented youngsters like Rebels' back Jack Maddocks and Reds forwards Liam Wright and Taniela Tupou were taking on more prominent roles.
He suggested Reds' and Wallabies back Karmichael Hunt would need to find form quickly once he resumed playing, if he wanted to push for a Test spot in June.
Hunt, who made Six Test appearances last year when he was used primarily as an inside centre, was fined $10,000 and issued a back-dated suspension last week by Rugby Australia, for his December 30 arrest in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.
While Hunt has been cleared to resume playing, there's no confirmation yet of when that will be, or even if he will continue at the Reds.
"If he (Hunt) gets that opportunity to play, he'll have to strike form pretty quickly, because there's a fair few guys playing in the No.12 or in the fullback jersey who are going pretty well at the moment," Cheika said.