Bernard Jackman has no intention of surrendering his Ireland shirt after waiting a decade to make his full Test debut.
The rampaging 31-year-old hooker toured South Africa in 1998 but failed to make an appearance, setting the tone for coming years.
Frequently on the fringes of the senior squad, he repeatedly failed to make the cut with four of his five caps won as a substitute on under-strength tours to Japan and Argentina.
But his dynamic displays for Leinster earned him an RBS 6 Nations debut in Saturday's 16-11 victory over Italy where he did enough to convince coach Eddie O'Sullivan he is worthy of a start.
And Jackman, a refreshingly enthusiastic voice within an increasingly prickly Irish camp, is determined to make the number two jersey his own.
"I've been in the situation many times over the last 10 years where I've been waiting for my name to be called out only to hear nothing," he said.
"Because of that I'll be taking nothing for granted. I toured South Africa and have missed out on selection a lot of times since.
"When I heard I was in the team for France it was such a relief. I've been a slow developer and now I'm here I intend staying here as long as I can.
"Hopefully I'll take the opportunity on Saturday and play to my full potential and do myself proud."
Jackman's resolve to mark the twilight years of his career with an extended run in the Ireland team is palpable.
The Carlow-born front row has endured some difficult times during spells with Connacht, Sale and Leinster but the darkest hour - and turning point - arrived in November 2006.
"The previous season I was coming back from breaking my leg," he said.
"Leinster had brought in a new hooker and I was struggling to make an impact.
"I was playing for Leinster A and we went over to Sale, who I'd left four years earlier.
"I was playing alongside lads from the Leinster academy against guys from the Sale academy.
"At Sale I met some of the lads who I'd played with and who had gone on to compete every week in the Premiership.
"That was frustrating. I basically left Sale that day telling myself I had three months to turn my career around.
"I realised I'd gone nowhere - I'd left Sale and returned as an A team player.
"But I'm really enjoying my rugby now and I think that's the key."
Jackman's improved line-out throwing may have contributed to his selection against France, but it is his marauding work in the loose that really catches the eye.
Leinster have benefited enormously from his eagerness to find defenders and skittle them over and he hopes to prove an equally potent weapon in Paris.
"I love ball carrying. I see it as being one of the primal parts of rugby - getting the ball and running at the opposition," he said.
"It's something I do a lot for Leinster and Eddie wants me to do it for Ireland as well. I really want to make an impact on this weekend.
"For ball carrying you need a bit of size and speed but it's mainly about how fast you run onto the ball.
"If you can time your run so that you hit the ball at 100 per cent flat out, you'll get over the gain-line.
"Sometimes it's not very glamorous - you might make 10 carries yet make only 10 yards - but as long as you recycle quickly and don't turn it over you've done your job."