Recent England call-up Richie Myler admitted that he thought the chance to play for his country again might have passed him by.
The 28-year-old has been recalled into the England squad for the first time since 2012 and will start in the halves alongside Jake Connor when England face France on Wednesday.
Myler last played for the national side six years ago and the Leeds Rhinos star revealed that he thought international honours would never come again.
When asked if he thought his time with England had gone, he replied: “It was getting to that stage, yeah.
“I never gave up, there were a few people in front of me but that’s sport, isn’t it? I’ll grab this chance with both hands and give it my best shot.
“I had an inkling from Kev (Sinfield) that it might have happened, but I never knew for sure until I got that call. It’s great to be playing at this time of the year, and to be in and around the boys. It’s a great setup and it’s a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to it.
“I was amongst this lot very young. I’ve done a lot of growing up and maturing as a player since I debuted for England at the age of 18, and maybe I took it for granted a little bit.
“You’re young and dumb, you don’t sense it as much and when it’s taken away from you and it looks like you may never get the opportunity again, it’s a lot sweeter when it does come around. I’ve worked hard, I’ve never stopped doing that, and it’s nice that it’s paid off in a sense.”
Myler, who has played for Warrington Wolves, Catalans Dragons and now Leeds since he last pulled on the England jersey, revealed that he has a point to prove on Wednesday as he hopes to make Wayne Bennett’s squad for the Test series against New Zealand.
He added: “I think so, yeah – there’s no point hiding away from it.
“I think I’ve had a pretty good year personally; I know it wasn’t great from a team perspective but personally I’ve done okay. I’m humbled and honoured to be back involved.
“It’s hard to have a personal affection towards a season where as a team, we didn’t perform. It wasn’t a year to shout about for Leeds Rhinos but in-house, to get the recognition from coaches and players, it’s nice. It was one of those years, and it’s nice to be in a fresh environment.
“I get first crack at it on Wednesday, and it’s up to me to take the opportunity – which I intend to do. It’d be great to play against the Kiwis, but my focus is just on delivering on Wednesday so I’m in with a chance. I’ve got to perform, and if I do, I think I’ve got a chance.”