Andy Powell expects to be a marked man when he makes his RBS 6 Nations debut for Wales tomorrow.
The Cardiff Blues number eight has played just four games of Test rugby - all last November on successive weekends as Wales faced South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
But he made a devastating impact, highlighted by his explosive running game that means Powell is being talked about as possible Lions Test material in South Africa later this year.
Scotland, Wales’ opening opponents at Murrayfield, are certain to earmark him for close attention, given his destructive game-breaking ability.
The 27-year-old though, wouldn’t anticipate it being any other way.
“I expect to be marked closely,” he said. “But that will only create gaps elsewhere and it will be better for the team. If just one of my runs comes off it will be happy days.
“Scotland have got a great pack, so it is going to be hard for us, but we’ve got the same pack as against Australia in November, and it was great beating them.”
Powell has waited patiently for the chance to showcase his ability at international level, and he is now a key player in head coach Warren Gatland’s plans for a successful RBS 6 Nations title defence.
“It is a massive tournament, and it’s something I am looking forward to playing in,” added Powell.
“It’s going to be a big atmosphere at Murrayfield and it will be tough, but it is vital we get off to a good start.
“The boys are not feeling the pressure because we know we can play. It’s down to us, but we can become better at everything. We must keep to the structure and then we can take off.
“I am not looking any further than Scotland on Sunday, or taking my eyes off that.”
Welsh preparations suffered a jolt before departure to Edinburgh last night when centre Gavin Henson was ruled out because of a calf muscle strain.
He was due to make his first international appearance since last season’s Six Nations, but has been replaced by by Tom Shanklin, who forges an all-Cardiff Blues midfield partnership alongside Jamie Roberts.
Assessing the Murrayfield mission, Gatland said: “We are very aware of how deep those (Scottish) guys dig in terms of responding to challenges.”
“I have vivid memories of a number of times when England have gone up there for Six Nations glory or been favourites to win the Calcutta Cup, and then come back having been beaten by a dogged Scottish side.
“We’ve got to keep reminding ourselves of that.”