Duncan Bell's elevation to the senior England squad completes a full circle the uncapped Bath prop admits he never dreamed possible.
England's appalling injury crisis has cleared the path for Bell to take his international bow against Ireland on Sunday in a Test debut that seemed unimaginable just a few months ago.
With Phil Vickery breaking his arm while on club duty for Gloucester on Saturday and Leicester's Julian White in the treatment room with a neck injury, the world champions have been robbed of their preferred tightheads.
Bell was called up to the England squad last night to bolster Andy Robinson's front row resources and could find himself in the starting line-up at Lansdowne Road - just three months after having his ambitions of playing for Wales dashed.
The 30-year-old had hoped to gain Welsh qualification on residency grounds but the International Rugby Board decided his appearance on England's 1998 'Tour from Hell' - he was an unused substitute against the Wallabies - made him ineligible.
But now he is on the brink of winning his first cap - Robinson names his team to face Ireland on Wednesday - and the 19 stone forward intends to make the most of an unexpected opportunity.
"I never thought that I would be in the wonderful position that I now find myself," said Bell.
"I thought I'd burned all my bridges with England when I expressed an interest in wanting to play for Wales, so it's fantastic to get this opportunity.
"Representing your country is the proudest moment of any rugby player's career and this is a very proud moment for myself and my family."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.