British Lion Dwayne Peel insists his summer move to Sale Sharks will enhance his bid to stake a claim for the Wales scrum-half shirt.
Mike Philips - Peel's former team-mate at Llanelli Scarlets - took the number nine shirt for much of last season, but Peel says he is now injury free and raring to get the season under way.
"The surgery and rehab have gone well and all I want now is an injury-free season for club and country," he said.
"I still want to play for Wales and that doesn't change by moving to Sale.It is just a case of playing club rugby in the Guinness Premiership."
But the 27-year-old will not only be facing stiff competition in national side, but also at club level too, where he will be competing for his place with Richard Wigglesworth, who has recently occupied the scrum-half position for England.
The battle at Sale at half back is similar to the one which Philips was confronted with last year at the Ospreys with former All Black Justin Marshall. The Ospreys had the luxury to adopt a rotation scheme between the two players which Lyn Jones believed brought the best out of them.
And Peel's move to Sale can be seen as a gamble in terms of the depth that the club have at his position. But his new club coach Philip Saint Andre realises that the modern game requires a very competitive 22 man team.
"Dwayne's arrival is excellent news for the club and our supporters," said the Frenchman.
"He is a world-class scrum-half and, together with Richard, it means we will have two young, international players covering the number nine position.
"Dwayne will only help Richard improve. Competition for places is good, it keeps you on your toes and makes you a better player."