Rob Evans was denied his match-up with Tadhg Furlong in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations by injury – but now the Scarlets and Wales prop is out to prove a point.
Furlong – a British & Irish Lion – was one of the key cogs in Ireland’s Grand Slam success but missed out on the victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium with a hamstring problem.
Evans started for Wales but was unable to prevent Joe Schmidt’s side from continuing their march towards a clean sweep.
However, with Scarlets and Leinster going head to head on Saturday in the European Champions Cup semi-finals, Evans has his chance to prove a point.
And the 26-year-old loosehead is itching to make his mark in a vital front-row battle.
“He’s (Furlong) obviously a good player, a Lion,” Evans said.
“He’s probably known as one of the best in the world now. It’s nothing I’m really scared about or anything, I’m looking forward to giving it a good go.
“I was a bit gutted we didn’t get a bash-out in the Six Nations really.
“We’re happy enough as a pack as it is. We wouldn’t change anyone really in our pack. Hopefully, it will be the same this Saturday.
“I think both sides have improved, especially Leinster, so it’s going to be a whole different challenge for us.”
Scarlets will arrive in the Irish capital with no fear – they defeated both Leinster and Munster on their travels to claim the Guinness PRO12 title last year.
And Evans – who has won 25 caps for his country and appeared in all five games of this year’s Championship – insists he is loving Scarlets return to the big stage in their first European semi-final in 11 years.
“Maybe we are underestimated but it is something that we don’t really care about,” he added.
“We’re happy with ourselves and people in this community have belief in us as well.
“If people want to underestimate us then happy days, but we’ll do our talking on the field and see the outcome afterwards.
“If they are right they’re right. We have to make sure we are on the money and get the result.”