At 29 years of age, Romania's record points scorer Florin Vlaicu is still young enough to be in contention for a fourth Rugby World Cup in 2019.
And with plenty of rugby to be played between now and then, the goal-kicking centre is on course to go to Japan as one of international rugby’s most prolific points scorers.
Vlaicu is one of three current internationals bidding to join Dan Carter, Jonny Wilkinson, Neil Jenkins, Ronan O’Gara and Diego Dominguez in the ‘1,000-point club’.
So far he has accumulated 706 points – three behind Georgia’s Merab Kvirikashvili and five points shy of Ayumu Goromaru of Japan – in 90 test appearances.
“I am very proud to be the highest points scorer for Romania. I’ve worked very hard over the last nine years, but I don’t want to stop here, I want to reach 1000 points,” he tells World Rugby TV.
A regular in the Oaks’ side for much of his 10-year international career, Vlaicu is just two tests away from drawing level with second-row Cristian Petre as the most-capped player in the history of Romanian rugby.
“To reach 90 caps (against Georgia last month), it is something wonderful. It never crossed my mind that I would play that many times for my country when I made my debut against Ukraine in 2006. Hopefully I can stay healthy and get to 100.”
Vlaicu highlights Romania’s Pool D encounter with Canada at Rugby World Cup 2015 as one of his most memorable moments in the Oaks' jersey.
The Bucharest-born player nervelessly slotted a penalty with three minutes left to complete the biggest comeback in the tournament’s history.
The Romanians trailed 15-0 early in the second half after Canada had scored tries either side of the break through wingers DTH van der Merwe and Jeff Hassler.
But converted scores from captain and number eight Mihai Macovei in the 53rd and 74th minutes to get the Europeans back to within a point. With Canada on the ropes, up stepped Vlaicu to finish the job off.
“I felt fulfilled and relieved but I knew there were still three minutes left in which we had to be focused. In the end, we were very happy to get the victory," he recalled.
“We’d planned for two victories when we left for the World Cup, to qualify automatically for the next tournament in 2019, but Italy’s experience told in the final game.
“I look back on the tournament with fond memories, it was the best of the three World Cups I've played in.”
Romania will now have to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan in three years’ time via the Rugby Europe Championship.
“We have a long road ahead but it’s not impossible, I am sure we will qualify," he said.
“I think it will be special because it’s played in Asia, in Japan, and everyone wants to get there.”