Jonathan Davies is relishing being back in the Wales squad for their 2020 Guinness Six Nations finale after recovering from the knee injury which kept him out for almost a year.
The 32-year-old centre has 81 caps to his name and was a key figure in the team which clinched the Grand Slam last year during Warren Gatland’s final Championship in charge.
But he sustained a knee injury in the 2019 Rugby World Cup and was forced to undergo surgery when he returned from Japan after Wales finished the tournament in fourth.
Davies missed his country’s Championship games before coronavirus meant the 2020 edition of the Guinness Six Nations was suspended with four games still to be played.
Yet he made his return for Scarlets in September and will now be part of Wayne Pivac’s side for the Round 5 clash with Scotland – and he is delighted to be back in the mix.
“The brand of rugby was good to watch during the Guinness Six Nations so I am excited to be part of the squad. There are still some old faces so the balance is great,” Davies said.
“Obviously the brand of rugby we want to play is similar to what we did at the Scarlets, but there are a lot of differences between regional and Test rugby.
“So it’s about adapting to that and making sure everyone is comfortable as you don’t have as much time in Test rugby. There is a great buzz in and around the camp.”
The two-time British & Irish Lion made his return for Scarlets in a friendly with Welsh rivals Ospreys in September, nearly 12 months after making his last appearance on a rugby field.
He has since played in Guinness PRO14 defeats to Munster and Glasgow Warriors and Davies revealed his motivation is stronger than ever following his injury waiting game.
“The uncertainty going into the surgery and not knowing what the outcome would be was the hardest thing to deal with,” Davies told the Welsh Rugby Union website.
“The type of surgery I had meant there was a waiting game. I had to keep my knee dead straight for 12 weeks and at that point, I had a scan to see how the surgery went.
“Once I knew at the 12-week mark the surgery was a success, it was a relief.
“The work I put in during those first 12 weeks was really important because there was a risk the injury could have ended my career.
“I made sure I did everything possible and thankfully we got a good result. I think that was down to a bit of luck, but a lot of it was also down to the work you put in away from rugby.”