Stephen Jones insists he came to terms with his nightmare Test debut long ago as he prepares to revisit the setting of Wales' record defeat.
The Welsh were humbled 96-13 by South Africa at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld in 1998 with Jones making a substitute appearance, coming on for centre John Funnell.
But the 30-year-old Llanelli Scarlets fly-half, who has gone on to win 71 caps, denies a similar scenario could unfold once again when Wales meet the world champions on Saturday.
“I’m aware it was my first cap 10 years ago but things have changed a huge amount since then,” he said.
“I came on for what was pretty much tackling practice. It was great to win my cap and to get on the pitch.
“It’s water under the bridge and is long gone. I’m just hoping we’ll do ourselves justice on Saturday.”
Wales believe they have a point to prove following their 43-17 hiding by the Springboks in the opening Test.
Gone was the accuracy and ball retention that marked their march to a second Grand Slam in four years, instead replaced by a crippling error count that handed the initiative to the hosts.
“We made so many mistakes which took so much away from us. It meant we couldn’t get any continuity,” he said.
“The match slipped away without us having contributed anything. We were good at keeping the ball in the Six Nations but against South Africa it just wasn’t there for us.
“When we did have the ball, we looked okay. We didn’t keep the ball at certain influential times and, had we done so, we could have offered more.
“We were turned over in the contact area and turned the ball over very often.”
Wales arrived in South Africa quietly confident they would trouble their hosts - at least in the first Test.
But instead, they were routed, leaving just one more match to atone for a performance that has only hardened opinion that the RBS 6 Nations sides are soft touches when touring the southern hemisphere.
“I’d like to think we have much more to offer and that’s the frustrating thing,” said Jones.
“If you come off the pitch having lost yet given your all, you’ll accept it, but when you haven’t contributed like you know you can, it hurts.
“The positive side of it is we have Saturday to put it right. We have to come back strongly in the second Test.”