Jonah Lomu was "delighted" to emerge unscathed from his return to top-flight rugby.
The former All Black wing lasted 60 minutes of Cardiff Blues' European Cup victory over Calvisano in his first competitive game for more than two years.
Lomu was restricted to a quiet debut by the Italians but he hopes it will prove a stepping stone in his ambitious bid to pull on the New Zealand jersey again.
"It was just great to be out there again," said Lomu. "It was always going to be tough and being well marked is part and parcel of the game.
"If my job is to draw in defenders and open space for other players then so be it. I'm just glad to have come through the 60 minutes without any injuries.
"It wasn't a premeditated move to come off after an hour but the coaches had their plans and they have to stick to them. I was just pleased to be out there at all.
"I was fine the night before but I did get a bit nervous five minutes before kick-off. It was like running out for my first game all over again - in fact that's exactly what it was after 28 months since my last competitive game.
"It was almost a surreal experience being back on the field after everything that I have gone through over the last few months. But I really enjoyed it.
"Physically I feel fine. I actually enjoy taking the knocks and being involved in a tough rugby game. It was only my first game back and I'm taking things steps by step."
Cardiff emerged with a 25-10 win thanks to tries from Robert Sidoli, Martyn Williams, Rhys Williams and Chris Czekaj.
And Lomu added: "The most important thing is that we won the game. We're a team and that's what I'm part of so the most important thing is that the team does well not just me.
"I'm happy just to do my job. I think credit has to go to the forwards who dominated the game and Michael Phillips who played a blinder. Hopefully I did enough to be included again next week.
"I'm looking forward to this week. We're going to have to knuckle down to some hard work."
Captain Rhys Williams believes Lomu did more than enough in his long-awaited return to hold onto his position for the return game at the Arms Park next Saturday.
"It's obviously up to the coaches but it was great to see him out there. Having trained together for the last few weeks Jonah has already brought so much to the squad.
"He has real desire and hunger for the game but has also fitted in with the boys really well."