Jonathan Davies "humbled" as he looks forward to his 50th Wales cap
Jonathan Davies readily admits that winning his 50th cap seemed a long way away during the injury-induced frustration of missing Wales' 2015 World Cup campaign.
While Wales emerged from the so-called pool of death before making a quarter-final exit against South Africa, Davies continued his recovery from a knee ligament injury that saw his World Cup dream shattered more than three months prior to the tournament starting.
But he will take centre-stage at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, clocking up a half-century when Wales tackle RBS 6 Nations opponents Scotland.
"It was frustrating not being a part of it (the World Cup), but I always thought there was some time left in me, so it was just about getting back on the field and proving my form," Davies said.
"And thankfully, I am back in the squad and I have to make sure my performances are worthy of that.
"I remember speaking about it (Six Nations) and working out the timelines after the surgery, and it was a realistic target.
"The medical team and the surgeon - and the medical team in Clermont as well - were brilliant, and helped me get back to being fit.
"Growing up as a kid, you think one or two caps for Wales and you would be proud. To make 50 is really humbling, and hopefully we can get the result and have a good celebration afterwards. I am chuffed to bits."
Davies made his Test debut on tour in 2009, and he added: "I remember going to the ground in Canada, and we were playing on a university pitch in Toronto.
"(Wales wing) Tom James was at the back of the bus, and when we turned up at the ground there weren't even any stands there - I think they were putting them up on the Friday afternoon - and Tom said 'can you imagine winning your first cap there?' But thankfully, I've gone on to get a few more."
Davies will return to the Scarlets from French club Clermont Auvergne later this year following a stint at Stade Marcel-Michelin that saw the Welshman play in a European Champions Cup final.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said this week that none of his players who had gone to France to play club rugby had returned home as better players, and he welcomed Davies' forthcoming second stint with the Scarlets.
And while Davies believes he has not performed as well as we would have liked at Clermont, he would not change the experience.
"I've learned off some of the best players in France, and the experience of playing at such a passionate club has been good," he said.
"You cannot emphasise how important rugby is to them, and how the emotions are in French rugby. The last few weeks, our results haven't gone to plan, but I have enjoyed it and I think I've learnt about myself.
"Living out there on my own, you have time to think about stuff. I'm not very philosophical as such, but at the time it was the right decision for me to go out to Clermont. And now, making the decision to come home is the right one now.
"I will be the first to admit I haven't played as well as I would have liked since I've been out there, but it's all about learning."
Davies will line up alongside Wales midfield partner Jamie Roberts for the 41st time on Saturday, with the home side chasing a ninth successive victory over Scotland since Gatland took charge eight years ago.
"I get on with him (Roberts) well," Davies added.
"When we first started playing together, people were dismissive of the partnership, but we've gone away and worked hard and done a few good things over the years. Hopefully, there is more in us.
"I wouldn't say we are like a married couple, but on matchday we know what each other is doing and just let the others carry on."