The 19-year-old wing made a sensational try-scoring Test debut for Wales against Canada during last month's summer tour after just two games of senior rugby. It capped a stunning rise to prominence for the former Welsh Schools sprinter who had been playing with Cardiff's semi-professional side in the Welsh Premiership just two months earlier.
Speedster Czekaj was promoted to the Blues regional side for the final two games of the Celtic season though still did enough to earn a place in Mike Ruddock's tour party for North America. And after impressing the Wales coach during training, Czekaj was handed a starting place against Canada in Toronto.
"It was an unbelievable season but everything that happened was thanks to what I learned in the Welsh Premiership," said Czekaj. "It's a great stepping stone to regional rugby. It exposes young players to tougher standards of training and playing for the first time. For me it was a great experience as I learned so much.
"You play every week and you come up against plenty of older and more experienced players who can learn so much from. I remember my first game for Cardiff was against Bridgend and Tonga international Aisea Havili (now with the Scarlets) just stepped outside and went right around me.
"The first game last season was against Pontypridd and I just remember how huge Dale McIntosh was. He was awesome in the pack but these are the guys you learn from.
"It proves that if you put in the work at training and listen to what you're coaches tell you then you can make it. It's hard because guys have day jobs as well but the opportunities are there if you want them."
Czekaj's story is remarkable but was mirrored, albeit over a slightly longer spell, by young Neath outside-half Matthew Jones who won his first full cap for Wales in the same game. Both players emerged through the ranks with Wales U21s, winning the Grand Slam earlier this year, but had the regular exposure in the Premiership to thank for getting their chance.
Newport's Wales U21 assistant coach Dai Rees said: "They both proved that you can make the step up from the Premiership to the regional and then international level.
"Years ago, these young lads would have been sat on benches at the big clubs or farmed out to the lower leagues. Now they are getting the regular rugby they need to develop."
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