Simon Easterby is determined to seize the opportunity to re-establish himself in Ireland's back row when he meets the Pacific Islands on Sunday.
Easterby has been the highest profile casualty of the fierce competition for places in Ireland's loose trio, losing the number six jersey to rising Ulster star Neil Best.
The 31-year-old made substitute appearances during the southern hemisphere double over South Africa and Australia but has been restored to the starting line-up for the weakest of this month's opposition.
Last November he was named skipper for the autumn series in Brian O'Driscoll's injury-enforced absence and he is desperate to regain his place as first-choice blindside flanker.
'It's hasn't been nice sitting on the bench but we have a strong squad at the moment and that means there is a lot of competition,' he said.
'When you do get your opportunity it's essential you are at your best and you take that chance. That's what I intend doing on Sunday.
'To come away with two wins against southern hemisphere sides is impressive. The first 40 minutes in both games were very good but we took our foot off the pedal in both matches.'
Easterby's experience - he has won 51 caps - was instrumental in his recall with emerging prospects Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris making their Test debuts in a revamped back rows.
'Jamie and Stephen have looked very impressive in training,' said the Llanelli forward.
'Jamie has played for Leinster for a number of years now and fully deserves his chance.
'Stephen has burst onto the scene and has proved a revelation for Ulster. On form the two of them deserve to be in the team.'
The Pacific Islands, represented by players from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, have only come together for this tour and their lack of preparation has been underlined in defeats to Wales and Scotland.
But they remain a naturally gifted team capable of finishing most chances and Easterby knows they must not be underestimated.
'We saw the Islanders against Wales and Scotland. We know what they're about - give them a chance and they'll take it,' he said.
'Individually they are quality players but maybe they haven't had the chance to gel as a team yet. We won't take anything for granted on Sunday.'