For the first time in 15-years a fit Gethin Jenkins will not feature in the Six Nations showdown between England and Wales - he will instead be leading Cardiff Blues in their vital Guinness PRO14 clash with Toyota Cheetahs.
The Wales record cap-holder has had his fair share of battles with the auld enemy and he has tasted victory at Twickenham on three occasions – the 2015 Rugby World Cup triumph the most memorable.
But after missing out on selection, largely due to a series of injuries, Jenkins will be pulling on a blue jersey instead of the Three Feathers.
He said: “I’m not really used to it… I’m not being big-head but I’ve pretty much always been involved in the Six Nations.
“I had it in the autumn and Six Nations last year but I was injured. Going into the Six Nations I knew I wasn’t going to be involved so it was about getting my head around it.
“It’s been well-documented that I’ve had two pretty bad injuries in the last year and I’ve been working my way back to fitness and have now got some games under my belt. I’m looking forward to the next block of four games with Cardiff Blues.
“I haven’t called time on my Wales career but I’m not stupid and can see the players that are there and have a lot of respect for the performances they are putting in.
“I would be kidding myself if I thought I was playing at that level after only two or three games at regional level. I still have ambitions to do it but I know I have a long way to go performance-wise.
“So it is something new for me and you do get a bit more down time but I have to step up and drive this team (Cardiff Blues) over the next couple of weeks when we’re missing four or five key players. But I’m still confident in the boys we have here that we can do the job.”
And Jenkins is acutely aware of the importance of the current block of four Guinness PRO14 fixtures, which kick-off against the Cheetahs on Saturday (7.35pm).
The Blues are currently one-place and 15-points behind the Cheetahs but would qualify for the European Champions Cup as it stands due to the South African outfit’s ineligibility for European competition.
Three of the next four games are at Cardiff Arms Park - Munster and Benetton Treviso the others – and Jenkins hopes to climb the Conference A table.
And the Cardiff Blues captain expects a ferocious battle against the dangerous Bloemfontein outfit.
“We have a few home games now which we are obviously targeting – it’s nice to have your home comforts for a few games and they are games that are hopefully winnable," said Jenkins.
"We will get our head down, work on our game and hopefully come out the other side with a few results to push us up the table.
“They are a very dangerous team, they have a lot of speed, a lot of powerful forwards so we know we have our work cut out to beat them.
"But if we manage to impose our game on them and put the things we’ve been working on into place then I’m sure it will be a good contest."
Tickets for Cardiff Blues versus Toyota Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14 are available now by clicking here or calling 029 20 302030.