Now, he is set to face the All Blacks after seeing off competition from fellow Lions scrum-halves Matt Dawson, Chris Cusiter and Gareth Cooper.
"Playing for the Lions is something else really, and to be playing against the All Blacks in New Zealand is huge. The hype is growing all the time - it's a massive occasion,' he said.
"You set yourself goals in your career, and my first goal was to play for my club side Llanelli and then to try and play for Wales one day. Moving on to play for the Lions is the pinnacle, really - it's a dream come true.'
Peel only made his Llanelli debut in 2000 but an ability to take things in his stride and appear completely unfazed - whatever the pressure - has helped him reach such heady heights as the Lions Test team, following illustrious Welsh predecessors like Gareth Edwards, Robert Jones and Rob Howley.
He was twice man-of-the-match during Wales' stunning Six Nations campaign, and Lions chief Sir Clive Woodward will expect Peel to continue that form, in tandem with his familiar half-back partner Stephen Jones.
Woodward revealed yesterday he had identified the former Llanelli combination as his potential Test half-backs ever since Wales produced a spectacular second-half fightback to defeat France in Paris midway through the Six Nations campaign.
"I have been massively impressed with the Welsh half-backs, especially during that second-half in Paris," said Woodward. "They really delivered, and they had a wonderful Six Nations."
For his part, Carmarthen-born Peel is just content to get on with the job, seemingly untroubled by the challenge that lies ahead.
He said: "I am sure I will be nervous come Saturday, but it is just a fantastic feeling to be selected, knowing you are going to go out there in front of a packed stadium and represent the Lions in a Test match."
"This side has been training together for a week or so now, and things are going well. We feel as if we are coming together well, and relishing the challenge.'
As for having Jones and Jonny Wilkinson - at inside centre - alongside him, Peel added: "It is definitely exciting to have both of them in the side.
"When you play with someone for a long period of time, you get used to the way they play and their traits, and I have played with Stephen quite a bit for Llanelli and Wales. And Jonny is a class player - I am sure there will be no problem."
Peel's battle against All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall, eight years his senior and with 36 more caps in the bag, could go a long way towards deciding the first-Test outcome.
And the Welshman knows he will be opposing a true master in Marshall, who makes his final Test-match appearance on home Christchurch territory before joining Leeds next season.
Peel added: "Justin Marshall has probably been the form half-back in the world over the past couple of years. He is a fantastic player, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge of playing against him.
"But everyone in this Lions squad is looking forward to Saturday. We all know it is going to be a big occasion, and everyone is excited about it."