Brian O'Driscoll will lead Ireland into the RBS 6 Nations adamant that he is more excited by the captaincy than ever before.
The Leinster centre survived the change in coaching regime last summer when Declan Kidney retained him as skipper for the autumn internationals.
However, a delay in confirming who would fill the role for the RBS 6 Nations led to suggestions Kidney was considering promoting Munster lock Paul O'Connell or Ulster hooker Rory Best.
But O'Driscoll was reinstalled yesterday and the 30-year-old British & Irish Lions midfielder insists his passion has never diminished during his six seasons as Ireland captain.
"I'd spoken to Declan a couple of times since November. We'd stayed in touch over a couple of different things.
"When he offered it to me it wasn't a difficult decision. I've loved it every time I've pulled a green jersey on.
"As long as there's that enthusiasm I'll continue to want to do the job.
"It was the case that I wanted to concentrate on my game at provincial level and that's why I stepped down from the captaincy then. I probably had too much on my plate.
"But I've always enjoyed coming into international camp and having a heavy involvement in it.
"I can't remember what it was like not being captain it was so long ago. That says a lot in itself.
"I find it such a huge honour that it puts a spring in my step. I probably enjoy it more now than ever before.
"I feel more comfortable with it now than in the earlier days. I get a lot of help with it too.
"We're in a good place because guys like Ronan O'Gara, Paul O'Connell and Rory Best have captained their provinces.
"I count on their expertise and experience as well."
Kidney insists nothing should be read into the six-day delay between naming Ireland's RBS 6 Nations squad and reappointing O'Driscoll.
"It was just a lapse of time. I wanted to give him time to look after himself because the captaincy is a demanding role," said Kidney.
"Having done it for so long, it was my way of looking after him.
"That's what happened over the last few weeks and then it came down to one question, do you fancy doing it?"
Ireland open their tournament against bogey team France on February 7 with O'Driscoll stressing the need to start on a winning note.
"Momentum is the key so France is a big game for us. But we can't get hung up on France," he said.
"We have to get our performance right and let the result take care of itself."