Four of Ball's five Test caps came in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations
Jake Ball is ready to cement his status as an important player in Warren Gatland's Wales side after earning the nod to face the Wallabies this weekend.
The 23-year-old first appeared at Test level in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, coming off the bench in a disappointing 26-3 defeat to eventual champions Ireland.
He earned that opportunity after injuries to Bradley Davies and Luke Charteris, as well as Ian Evans' suspension, but after some eye-catching form for the Scarlets Ball has played his way firmly into Gatland's plans.
And ahead of Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash with Australia - the country where Ball was once a teenage cricketing prodigy - he is relishing the prospect of packing down next to Alun Wyn Jones.
"It has been massive for me," said Ball, who has started two Tests for Wales.
"During the RBS 6 Nations I got called up when Brad went down, so to gain selection in this squad without someone going down has been big for me. And now to get a starting spot as well, to get picked was a big goal of mine.
"It's great to have such strength in the second row and there is always competition in training. And I have had a lot of game-time this season and have been really pleased with how it has gone so far.
"I think it is a good combination. I have a massive amount of respect for Alun Wyn and I enjoy playing alongside him."
Wales' stocks are wearing thin amid the fallout from their superb victory over England but assistant coach Rob Howley insists they've replaced quality with quality after calling up James Hook and Gareth Anscombe.