Former Lions star Jason Robinson insists he isn’t taking his rugby comeback lightly.
The 36-year-old World Cup winner has agreed to turn out for National Two North side Fylde this season, more than three years after his last club outing for Sale Sharks.
Robinson’s final appearance as a professional came for the Barbarians at Twickenham in December 2007, weeks after he helped England reach a second successive World Cup Final, but he has no intention of being caught off guard despite the massive drop in standard he will experience this year.
"I am not taking this lightly," said Robinson, who toured twice with the Lions in 2001 and 2005 and is expected to turn out for his new club in their first home match of the season next weekend.
"I know there will be some tough opposition and tough players and I need to make sure I am ready.
"I have been marked for 17 years and played against some of the toughest teams in the world. I would expect people to think, 'Let's get one in on him or beat him' – there is nothing wrong with that.
"If somebody can give you a good shot, then fair play – you just get back up and you crack on with it.
"That is one of the reasons why I am coming back to play – I still have that competitiveness."
Despite not having featured as a player for close to three seasons, Robinson hasn’t struggled to reach the required level of fitness.
The former Wigan Rugby League legend enjoyed a hands-on coaching role with Sale last season and has kept himself in shape despite his initial retirement.
"I have never got out of the groove," Robinson told The Gazzette.
"Last season I was at Sale as a coach and I would often jump in and run some of the opposition's moves, so I could still compete with the big boys.
"I am no spring chicken, but I am still in good shape and I have certainly not let myself go.
"You don't want to talk yourself up – at the end of the day I will do the same as I have always done. I will give 100 per cent and I look forward to putting on that shirt for the first time.
"My only guarantee, is as it has always been, that I will give it my best. The rest will take care of itself."
And while Robinson spent most of his time in Rugby Union on the wing or at full back, he could be popping up closer to the action during his much-talked about return.
"There are lots of different positional options – we will just have to mix and match and see what suits the team.
"There is full-back, wing, outside-centre – the more I get hold of the ball the better.
"The last thing I want is just standing there and not touching the ball – you may as well get one of the young lads into the team to do that.
"I am not too sure what to expect but I have seen a few games and there does seem to be more handling errors at times, which will mean a few more breaks and it will be great to re-start from a scrum and have a run.
"Once you get the ball in your hands, the crowd lifts and you are in a game situation and all of sudden it all comes flooding back and you get that bit between your teeth."