Two weeks ago, Simon Danielli had virtually written off his chances of playing in this year's RBS 6 Nations.
Yet tomorrow, the 29-year-old will earn his 17th cap as Scotland attempt to get their tournament back on track.
Danielli’s selection for the clash with France was the biggest surprise when head coach Frank Hadden named his side on Wednesday.
The Ulster wing’s career has been blighted by injury and he was thought to be a rank outsider for a back-three spot during this year’s tournament.
Danielli believed the same, admitting to shock when told he would be replacing Simon Webster, who is still recovering from a blow to the head against Wales.
“I’m surprised and delighted, obviously,” he said. “I’m really pleased Frank’s selected me and hope to repay the faith he’s put in me.”
Danielli made his Scotland debut six years ago but a series of injury setbacks have hampered his bid to become a regular at Test level.
It has been the same story this season, a freak accident during pre-season training ruling him out for three months with a knee problem.
He returned only to suffer a hamstring injury before finding both fitness and form just in time to be included in Hadden’s RBS 6 Nations plans.
Danielli was keen to put a positive spin on missing so much rugby this season.
He said: “I’m fairly fresh, you could say. I’ve only played four or five games this year.”
Despite claiming two weeks ago he was not confident of playing any part in the RBS 6 Nations, Danielli insists he never really gave up hope of a recall.
The former Borders star understands why he was not picked for last weekend’s tournament opener against Wales, who ran out comprehensive winners at Murrayfield.
“I didn’t have too many gripes at that stage,” he said. “I haven’t had that much rugby this year.
“Frank said to me, ‘You’re suffering because you haven’t played as much as other guys. I’ve seen you play and you’ve played well. Wait for your opportunity’. And here it is.”
He added: “You never wish it on anyone but you know there is a chance of injuries.
“I was hoping that at some stage I might get a chance. I was just pleased to be in the squad to start with.”
Danielli is philosophical about the injuries that have held him back and claims he now feels as good as he ever has since his Test bow in 2003.
He said: “I’ve just become more level-headed about injuries and, when I’ve played again, picked up where I’ve left off.
“I felt that last year I was playing some of the best rugby I’ve probably ever played.
“The injuries were massive setbacks but I definitely feel good in myself and have felt sharp when I’ve played.”
And he cannot wait to test himself tomorrow against France star Cedric Heymans, who he has yet to face one-on-one.
Danielli said: “He’s a class player so I’m excited to play against a player like him. Hopefully I go well.”