Jamie Roberts desperate to start for Wales at Six Nations
The intellectual arrowhead on which the 'Warrenball' rugby which served Wales so well was for a long time the first name down on the teamsheet. Now, as Wales attempt to swap brutalism for something less direct, the Harlequins centre finds himself vulnerable to changing times.
Roberts was dropped after the first match of the autumn campaign against Australia and finished it on the bench against South Africa.
A recall to the starting line-up against Italy a week on Sunday is his target but, even after 83 Wales caps and two Lions tours, there are no guarantees.
"I still have a lot to show on the Test stage and I'm desperate to be back in the starting side. With my experience hopefully I'll get the nod but if I don't I'll be there to help prepare the squad as well as possible and hope for my chance at some point," said the 30-year-old.
"I was disappointed with my performance against Australia and I dwelt on that for a few days. Quite rightly, I lost my place in the side. I hadn't been dropped by Wales since 2009 so it was a weird feeling.
Roberts has endured an injury-hit period at Harlequins
"It was difficult but ultimately it is about Wales winning and if the coach leaves you out you have to respect that and get on with the job. As much as you are disappointed, it means little in the grand scheme of things.
"You have to get out there and support your team-mates. I felt I did that well in November and it was up to me to knuckle down after that and show some good form."
Roberts' attempts to do so with Quins were frustrated by a knee injury which took a three-week chunk out of January but, having returned against Stade Francais last Sunday, he has spent this week training with Wales trying to impress, like the new boy, all over again.
If it was Warren Gatland's eye he needed to catch it might be more straightforward but his stand-in Rob Howley is trying to make his own mark. With Scott Williams in good form for the Scarlets, there are alternatives for the No12 shirt.
"We'll have to see what Rob decides," said Roberts. "To be involved in the Six Nations in a Welsh jersey is a huge privilege and something I have many top memories of over the last decade.
Scott Williams has impressed for Wales and could take the No 12 position
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"The Six Nations stirs the emotions like no other tournament. It's such a special tournament with its history and tradition. You just want to do the Welsh jersey proud because you are representing a lot of people.
"England and Ireland showed the best form last year but we won three from four in the autumn so we have a bit of momentum and the squad has a freshness about it with a few uncapped players. I'm really excited to be part of it."
The new recruits also extend to attack coach Alex King, who was jettisoned by Northampton in the autumn, but has begun work with the squad. His input will be integral to Wales's plans to move their game on.
"It will be interesting to see how Alex King goes. I'm sure he's going to add an extra dimension to our game," said Roberts.
"Seeing our game trying to evolve is good. It's interesting and it means we're able to keep teams guessing. The landscape in rugby is continually changing and it is up to us to move with it and not get left behind."
The challenge is the same one for Roberts.