THE men who have overseen James Faulkner's rise to Test cricket are united in the belief that he is there to stay.
As the 23-year-old debuted in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval last night, past and present mentors expressed delight but not surprise.
``I think he's going to be a permanent fixture in the Test team for quite a while because he's the type of guy they want,'' Tigers coach Dan Marsh said.
``He's a competitor and I reckon that's why they picked him. His competitive instincts with bat and ball are second to none.
``He should be a permanent No.6 because he is a genuine all-rounder.
``It's only a matter of time before he gets a first-class hundred but after that I think he will get lots, not only for Tasmania but Australia as well.''
Like Marsh, Faulkner's former coaches Tim Coyle and John Bailey plus Jade Selby, his captain at Launceston, were thrilled by his call-up and selective in their choice of adjectives.
Coyle called him ``different'' and Marsh chose ``unique'', while all agreed he possessed the confidence needed for the sport's ultimate stage.
Tasmania's player of the year for the past three seasons, Faulkner was watched by the state's former chairman of selectors, and his father, Peter as he received his Baggy Green from Shane Warne last night.
``I always said that if I was ever going to play he'd be the first one I'd call and the first one I would get over,'' said Faulkner, who impressed selectors by being dismissed just once in five innings on tour.
``Growing up he's always been a pretty big influence. He's just let me enjoy the game and hasn't really got too much involved. He just let me do what I do and I'm grateful for that. He has never put any pressure on me to play cricket. As long as I was enjoying it, he was happy.''
Australia's 435th Test cricketer also becomes the eighth NTCA player to make the grade.