Mike Phillips is determined to forever cast off the unwanted nickname of 'Splinters' after being restored to the Wales side for Saturday's Triple Crown showdown with Ireland in Dublin.
The Ospreys scrum-half, fuelled by the pain and frustration of rejection, has reclaimed his place from rival Dwayne Peel and is not in the mood to give it up easily.
Phillips earned the nickname among some Wales fans because the majority of his career has been spent in Peel's shadow, initially at the Llanelli Scarlets and latterly with the national team.
His frustration peaked in the build-up to the World Cup, when previous coach Gareth Jenkins told him he was only in the squad as Peel's back-up and he spent a lot of time sat on the bench, hence the nickname.
No matter how well he played or trained, there was no chance of Jenkins changing his mind. Unsurprisingly, Phillips returned from the World Cup an angry man.
But the arrival of Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards gave Phillips renewed hope of a life off the bench and the 25-year-old has flourished.
He earned a bottle of champagne from Edwards for his try-scoring performance in the win over England and has now twice been preferred to Peel during this RBS 6 Nations.
“Before the World Cup I got told I was second choice by the coaches and that wasn't a particularly nice thing to be told,” said Phillips.
“When I came back I just worked harder, I wanted to get my head down and show I was more than second best. I have sat on the bench more than anyone in the last couple of years. It does get frustrating.
“I have been given a fair opportunity to show what I can do and you know that if you play well these coaches will reward you.
“I have been very pleased with the way I have played so far and I am delighted to get the opportunity to start again.
“Dwayne has more experience than me but I think they have gone with the guy who is more in form. I am really happy with the way I have been playing and it is up to me now to take my opportunity.
“It is great to be involved in such a massive game for Wales. I loved the game at Twickenham, I will never forget that, and hopefully I can take the same memories away from this one.”
Phillips moved from the Cardiff Blues to join his third Welsh region last summer after the Ospreys offered him a bumper salary of around £180,000 a year.
Not only is Phillips now more familiar with the likes of James Hook, Gavin Henson, Shane Williams and Lee Byrne, but he has a scrum-half master to learn from.
Phillips believes his relationship with experienced former New Zealand international Justin Marshall has been key to his progression.
“I've learned from Justin. He is so head strong, he totally believes in himself and that is why he has done so well in the New Zealand team,” said Phillips.
On Saturday, Phillips will be up against another scrum-half who is finally establishing himself in his national team in Wasps' Eoin Reddan.
“Reddan is looking very sharp. He has been involved a bit in the Six Nations in the past but is really getting a full chance now.
“He is making breaks, he has good service on him and he likes to box kick.”