Former Moseley and London Welsh fly half Matthew Jones has signed a two-year deal with Worcester Warriors.
And the 24-year-old is desperate to use his opportunity in the Guinness Premiership to make sure he does not become labelled a one-cap wonder
He made a single appearance for Wales on their North American tour of 2005, will be seen as the man to fill the vacancy at No 10 following the departure of incumbent Shane Drahm.
The appointment marks a return to the elite level for a player who suffered a serious knee injury two years ago and ultimately lost his place with Magners League outfit Ospreys with James Hook and Shaun Connor ahead in the pecking order.
After missing most of the 2006-07 campaign the Bridgend-born outside half was loaned to Moseley at the start of last season but failed to integrate into their gameplan and returned to Liberty Stadium halfway through a six-month loan deal.
He was released at the turn of the year but begun his recovery in earnest at Old Deer Park where he played 12 games and was a key part of the side that finished in the top half of National One.
And with Worcester running out of options having been rejected by Eoghan Hickey and balked in their attempt to bring Andy Goode to Sixways, director of rugby Mike Ruddock turned to the man to whom he handed his international debut.
Jones’s cameo against Canada that summer must seem a distant memory after his recent travails but they also serve as motivation for a player striving to regain his status as one of the brightest out-half prospects in the Principality.
“At the moment I am no where near that level but if I get to play regularly well for Worcester then hopefully the Wales coaching staff will take a peek at how I’m going,” Jones told The Birmingham Post.
“Everyone in Wales whether they’re at level seven or level one wants to play for the national side and I’m no different. I still have that ambition.
“No one has said anything nasty about me but I am sure people will comment that I have been away from the top for a long time. I feel I have a duty to prove to them and to myself and to Worcester that I can get back to performing on the stage I want to - the biggest.”
Helping him do that will be Ruddock and former Wales coach Clive Griffiths, who was also part of the regime that brought Jones into the national set up just a few months after he had starred in the Wales Under 21 Grand Slam side.
“I want to do everything possible that will be of benefit. It’s going to be a massive year for me. I’m going to move to the area so that I can get to training easily and completely devote myself to making the most of the opportunity Mike has given me.
“I hadn’t worked with him until we went away to Canada but I really liked the way he dealt with situations and young players. Some coaches can be quite intimidating but he was very approachable. I was very confident on the pitch but not so confident off it so I really appreciated the way he treated me.”
Jones believes he is getting back to his optimum and even improving in terms of game management and believes he is not only in the right condition to make the step back into the big time - but in the best place to do it too.
“Mike and Clive obviously know a bit about me and what I was like before the injury, they have seen exactly what I am capable of fully fit. Everything they are doing with Worcester is similar to what I do best. The way the team plays suits me down to the ground with my passing and kicking game.
“With the likes of Rico Gear, Sam Tuitupou and Chris Latham in the backline I am only going to become a better player. I am not going to say it is going to be hard not to play well with those guys but it’s going to help all of us.
“I can’t wait to get started. I didn’t want last season to end, it was brilliant getting first team rugby again, and I can’t wait for the new season to start.”
After a frustrating couple of months Ruddock feels he has secured a player who will adapt well to the new regulations when they come into force in August.
“Matthew fell off the radar after suffering a knee injury,” Ruddock said. “During a year out of the game with ligament damage James Hook emerged as the replacement for him and certainly took his opportunity as we have all witnessed.
“But he has worked his way back from this injury and I have no doubt that he can again perform to the same level that made me pick him for the full Wales team.
“I believe he is a the sort of ten that can prosper under the proposed new ELVs and his decision to join the club will further strengthen an area of quality where we already have the option of selecting Loki Crichton and Joe Carlisle.”