Paul Grayson is determined to make up for lost time when he steps out of the shadows on Sunday and into the daunting limelight vacated by Jonny Wilkinson.
Despite having played 29 matches for England, Grayson will start his first ever RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy in Rome, having been instrumental in making Wilkinson the best fly-half in the world.
And if his fresh opportunity at the age of 32 comes courtesy of the shoulder operation Wilkinson has undergone, plus the dodgy knees of Sale's Charlie Hodgson, then Grayson is only too delighted to dodge the international bullet he felt might be coming his way.
"I was under no illusions Jonny would come through. I could always see he was going to be a star but that has never been a problem for me," said Grayson, who acted as Wilkinson's understudy at the World Cup in Australia, playing one full game against Uruguay.
"I knew England were potentially getting the broom out so I did think it could have been the end after the World Cup. But I'm playing well, Jonny and Charlie are still injured and it is a great opportunity. But the run could be fairly short if I don't take advantage.
"I did what was asked of me in the World Cup and I have been performing well for Northampton and have settled back into club rugby pretty well since the World Cup. It is nice to get the nod.
"I'm loathe to say it is a bonus but that's exactly what it is and I am looking forward to the match in what is an exciting England team."
Composed and typically self-effacing Grayson, in fact, has scored 357 points in his 29 Tests, making him the third-highest scoring Englishman behind Rob Andrew (396) and Wilkinson (817).
The Northampton star did come on as a replacement in the Six Nations against Scotland last year but his last start in the championship came in the Five Nations against Ireland in 1999.