The wait is over for delighted British & Irish Lions scrum-half Gareth Cooper as the Welshman looks forward to his first start of the tour against Southland after just three minutes of action so far.
Cooper started in the draw against Argentina back in Cardiff at the end of May but has since played fourth fiddle to countryman Dwayne Peel, Matt Dawson and Chris Cusiter.
After making a brief appearance from the bench in the win over Taranaki, Cooper is determined to grab his chance this time round, something he concedes he maybe did not do in the tour warm-up against Argentina.
"It was really up to me to produce a performance that put the selectors' faith in me and I probably didn't quite do that," he admitted.
"It's been a long wait and I've been very frustrated but now I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and getting out on the field and perhaps prove a few people wrong.
"I've been training very hard and just waiting really for the chance and that will come tomorrow. I'm as fresh as ever and I just can't wait to get out there."
Despite missing out on game-time, Cooper is still enjoying the whole Lions experience.
"I've really enjoyed the tour. It's been pretty interesting travelling around New Zealand and seeing the place and the rugby's been top quality," he said.
"It's exactly what I expected. Obviously I'm disappointed not to play in too many games but I've loved the tour otherwise."
Cooper will lock horns with Southland's Jimmy Cowan in what should make for an intriguing battle.
Cowan played for the All Blacks against Italy and the Barbarians on their end of year tour to Europe last year and the 23-year-old is keen to use the encounter to push his claims for future international honours with veteran All Black Justin Marshall, a former Southland player, leaving New Zealand to join Zurich Premiership side Leeds Tykes.
"It's great to test yourself against the best players in the world," said Cooper.
"The better players you play against puts a good test on your character and your performance. I've never played against him before but I've obviously seen him play. He's a great passer of the ball and he's a strong fellow too.
"He's a great player and there are a lot of great players around New Zealand and I'm just looking forward to playing against him."
Cooper is also hoping to see more red shirts in the stands as the build-up to the three Test matches continues.
Far more British fans were evident at the match against
Otago in Carisbrook on Saturday with more expected to flood into New Zealand's South Island before Saturday's first Test in Christchurch.
"There hasn't been that many fans about until now but there will be a few more leading up to the Tests. It will be great to see everyone come to support us."