Matt Stevens insists he is not jetting to Australia to make up the numbers.
The Saracens prop was one of the surprise inclusions in Warren Gatland's 37-man British & Irish Lions squad having retired from international rugby last year.
He faces competition for a tight-head birth from Adam Jones, a Test prop in 2009, and Dan Cole.
But he is determined to push the duo all the way for Test selection on the 10-match tour of Hong Kong and Australia.
"I have a lot of respect for Adam, I have played against him for the last 10 years," said Stevens
"He is a superb player and he has a lot of good things most props want.
"He has a lot to his game, I respect him and he's a good bloke which is half the battle in rugby.
"But, of course, I'm not going out there to me up the numbers, we are all competitive animals otherwise we wouldn't be here. We all want to be starting and that can only be good for the tour in the long term."
Despite being back on the international stage, Stevens insists his decision to hang up his England boots was the right
He has no intention of reversing the decision and the Lions tour of Australia will serve as one final swansong.
He toured New Zealand in 2005, making six appearances but is yet to taste Test action in a Lions jersey.
"I am not thinking about that, it is just about this tour and I am relishing every minute of it," said Stevens.
"Any international player when they retire has second thoughts and it was the most difficult rugby decision I have ever made.
"But it was the right choice at the time, obviously it has given me the chance to play week in, week out for Saracens and has got me in contention for this trip.
"It has been difficult but I didn't retire because I didn't think I was good enough, I retired because there were other things I needed to sort out to get back playing for Saracens.
"I had just come back from injury and it wasn't fair on me playing a bit part for Stuart (Lancaster) when I thought I wasn't going to be there for the World Cup in 2015."