Aaron Woods' State of Origin sacking has only left him more desperate to ensure his Kangaroos jersey doesn't also elude him.
Woods was dropped by NSW coach Brad Fittler earlier this year, and was forced to watch on as the Blues won just their second series in 13 years.
However, after a horror year that included three NRL clubs in the space of 12 months, the Cronulla prop earned a representative reprieve when called up by Mal Meninga for the end-of-year Tests against New Zealand and Tonga.
"I think you don't realise what you've missed out on until you sit there and watch the boys play," Woods said of his Origin demotion.
"Especially, I had some really close mates play in the NSW side and a lot of people were asking if I still support them. Of course I do. I was born and bred in NSW and I was so happy when they did win.
"I was pumped for them. But when you come into these groups and they talk about their stories, you feel like you missed out a bit.
"I was talking about Klem (David Klemmer) the other day and saying it's the best feeling ever to be back in these groups and walking around in it ... So to be back, it's a massive honour and something you don't want to give up that easily again."
By his own admission, Woods' start to the season wasn't up to scratch as he struggled to fit into Canterbury's style after his move from the Wests Tigers.
But he found a home at the Sharks, increasing his output despite coming off the bench as part of a monster pack that included Andrew Fifita and Matt Prior.
Woods will face the prospect of trying to take down his Sharks teammate on Saturday as Fifita plays for Tonga in the historic Test between the two nations.
"The biggest thing I learnt with Andrew this year is, when you walk on the field with him, he gives you confidence," Woods said.
"He's just got that presence, an awkward body shape, runs like a winger but plays like a front-rower."