Bradley Davies admits it is a massive honour to captain Wales after a nightmare 18 months on the international stage.
The Cardiff Blues lock was a first-team regular with Wales during the 2011 but saw his international career interrupted by injuries and suspension.
Davies started the 2012 RBS 6 Nations as a first choice second-row but missed the remainder of the Championship after being suspended for a tip-tackle against Ireland.
He returned to the starting XV for the heartbreaking summer tour of Australia and was left concussed after an ugly off the ball incident against New Zealand in the autumn.
That left Davies on the sidelines for several weeks and to compound matters he dislocated his ankle in training after just three games back with the Blues.
But he is thrilled to become Wales' 130th captain ahead of the two-Test summer tour of Japan.
"Any chance to play for Wales is special, but being made captain of my country is a feeling I've never experienced before," said Davies.
"When Robin asked me, I came close to ripping his arm off, so keen was I to do it. It's a massive honour, and my family are really proud. It's something I will grasp with both hands.
"It's amazing, especially after the time I've had over the past 18 months or so. I've been injured, banned, knocked out - everything that could have happened to me has happened. I'm just glad to be back."
Davies admits his intermittent international career has been frustrating but he reckons he can reap the rewards of the last 18 months.
He feels he has matured and refocused as a result of his enforced periods on the sidelines and he is now ready to push to the next level.
"It's been difficult because I went through a stage where I played ten to 15 internationals, starting every game, then I ended up on the bench a lot and my career got a bit messy, with small injuries and decisions not going my way," added Davies.
"But I've learned my lessons. I've taken my eye off the ball at times but I've refocused and see this as the halfway point in my career.
"When you are away from the Wales camp and you watch the boys play on telly, it gives you a kick up the backside and a desire to get back in.
"Sometimes you might take things for granted. In the middle of a savage fitness session, for instance, you might ask yourself what you're doing there.
"But being out of the camp puts it in perspective. Sitting in my local pub watching Wales win a Grand Slam is not a nice feeling.
"It's brilliant to be involved again. The way I feel I can probably play until I'm 50."
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