Andrew Trimble believed he had done enough to win back his place in the Ireland team in recent weeks, only to suffer the disappointment of being cut from the squad by Declan Kidney last weekend.
The Ulster winger said he had felt a sense of deja-vu when he was omitted after playing for the Wolfhounds in their defeat to England Saxons on Friday.
The 28-year-old has suffered this disappointment before at different times in his career and has been able to fight his way back into the set-up.
He started the November meeting against South Africa, but was replaced by the new wing on the scene, Craig Gilroy, for the win over Argentina.
He went on to start all of Ulster's remaining Heineken Cup games and scored a try against Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
But his efforts weren't enough to win his place back, and the 49-times capped back must bide his time and try and regain his place.
“It's Groundhog Day,” a frustrated Trimble said after collecting a scholarship to Hibernia College in Dublin.
“You can always do a bit more, but I'm performing quite well. I just want to keep it going. I don't want to get stressed out about things that I can't control.
“I thought I'd done the right thing. I thought I'd reacted well. I thought I'd performed well in a lot of the Heineken Cup games, a couple of the games around Christmas as well.
“I felt like I was building nicely, but I don't pick the team, I don't pick the squad.
“I suppose it takes a lot of pressure off me in a lot of ways. I just go out and try and play well. Maybe if you are frustrated or have a point to prove or if you want to go out there and perform well, to stake a claim for a position, then maybe it will bring the best out of you. When there is a lot of competition for places it tends to do that.”