Denis Leamy is ready to celebrate his Ireland recall by channelling the energies of an injury-ravaged season against Scotland at Murrayfield tomorrow.
RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam-chasing Ireland head to Edinburgh tomorrow with Leamy determined to make his mark on a championship he has so far viewed from the substitutes bench.
Shoulder surgery forced the 27-year-old to miss last year's autumn internationals while a serious knee injury sent him back into the treatment room at Christmas.
Short-tempered as a rookie, Leamy admits he would once have reacted to the turmoil of the last eight months by venting his anger on another player.
But older and wiser, the Munster number eight now intends to channel it the right direction as Ireland close in on the RBS 6 Nations title.
"I try to keep the frustration under lock and key," he said.
"Sometimes when you get involved down in the provinces you do a bit of contact and stuff. That's always a good way to release a bit of that frustration.
"Possibly when I was younger I would have taken it out on somebody but you try and lock that away for when it's needed. Tomorrow would be a good day to bring it out."
To compound Leamy's misery he has watched helpless as Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris established themselves in Ireland's back row during his absence.
Heaslip, the player to make way for his return, has emerged as one of the stars of the tournament whose athleticism and vision offer something different to the more abrasive Leamy.
Both Heaslip and Ferris are younger and have made telling contributions to the best back row of the RBS 6 Nations, drawing a nod of approval from Leamy.
"It's difficult because you've got to understand the boys are playing well. They got the opportunity," he said.
"They got the jersey against France. They played very well that day and they kept the jersey. You can't argue with that.
"Sometimes you've got to put your hand up and say 'fair play'.
Leamy has stepped off the bench three times in this year's RBS 6 Nations, helping close out the victories against France, Italy and England.
"Initially I would have been delighted to come back in and just get on the bench," said.
"But when you are on the bench its human nature you want more. Sitting on the bench is very frustrating.
"Thank God I haven't done a lot of it for a long time, so I sort of forgot about how frustrating it is."
Victory over Scotland would leave Ireland one win away from a first Grand Slam since 1948 as they head to Cardiff for a nerve-shredding climax to the championship.
With monotonous regularity the Irish camp has reiterated their refusal to contemplate the clean sweep until it is completed, but there exists genuine fear that Edinburgh could emerge as the graveyard of their ambitions.
On their last two visits to Murrayfield they edged the first 19-18 while the second was conceded 31-21 in a tune-up for their ill-fated 2007 World Cup.
Scotland field a large pack that is accomplished at the set-piece, but Leamy believes captain and scrum-half Mike Blair is the key to their game.
"We've struggled over the last couple of years against Scotland. They haven't made it easy for us at the breakdown," he said
"Competing for ball has always been an issue. Their line-out is very good because they have four very tall men.
"With targets like that winning ball isn't a problem. Blair dictates well around the fringes and is a dangerman who needs a lot of watching.
"He runs the show, does a lot of talking and puts players into the game. Hopefully we can shut down their key players."
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.