France centre Damien Traille has a point to prove in the RBS 6 Nations match with Italy at the Stade de France.
Traille was a mainstay of the 2002 Grand Slam winning team and was tipped as a likely star of the 2003 World Cup.
But the 24-year-old admits that he fell from grace at the wrong moment, losing his place to Yannick Jauzion and spending most of that tournament on the sidelines.
He will be paired with Jauzion in the three-quarter line as Tony Marsh is still not fully re-established in the side following his battle with cancer.
Traille told L'Equipe: "I was picked for 24 consecutive games by the French team between 2001 and the start of 2003.
"People even said I could break the record for consecutive appearances.
"It all went pear-shaped at just the wrong time."
Traille, who had been heralded as "the pivot of the French game plan" by coach Bernard Laporte's assistant Jacques Brunel, admits he found the World Cup a frustrating time as he watched Jauzion win plaudits Down Under from the touchline.
"I took a hell of a slap," he said. "In fact, I was reproached for defensive errors and a lack of initiative in my game."
Traille resisted any attempt to make public his disquiet at his plight.
"I did not want to create a controversy," he said. "I was very disappointed but I did not want to complain. And then I did not want to stand apart from the squad."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.