Nicho Hynes says he is better equipped for his Australian Test debut off the bench than he was for his tough 12-minute foray into State of Origin this year.
Hynes was named as one of two debutants in Mal Meninga's Australian side to face New Zealand in the Pacific Championships in Melbourne on Saturday, with Brisbane prop Tom Flegler also coming into the side.
Hynes' Kangaroos debut will cap a roller-coaster year for the Cronulla star, who debuted for NSW in June but was dropped after one match when he was thrown on at right centre for the final 12 minutes.
Playing out of position, Hynes missed a tackle in the lead-up to a Queensland try.
Blues coach Brad Fittler was heavily criticised for his use of the 2022 Dally M Medallist.
The Sharks star's club form slipped dramatically for the following month, with Hynes later admitting that match and the Origin axe had affected his confidence.
But after being named on the bench for Australia this time, Hynes said he had been given a much clearer plan.
"I have a much clearer idea of what my role is this time around," he told AAP.
"That's with all due respect to the NSW camp. I will come in well-equipped to playing this role.
"Mal's been in this position before with similar players like Michael Morgan, (Cooper) Cronk, 'Chez' (Daly Cherry-Evans) did it too off the bench.
"We have a plan, we've trained it already and now it's a case of going out and nailing it."
Hynes has previously come off the bench in his time at Melbourne, adding spark in the middle for the Storm when brought on the field.
"I've done this before, and getting thrown out there with 10 minutes to go in an Origin game doesn't define what my capabilities are as a utility off the bench," Hynes said.
"I have been there and done that before, so I won't let that one thing define me in the era.
"I am a much more confident and mature player than I was six months ago."
Hynes' debut at AAMI Park is fitting given his time at Melbourne, as is the fact he learned of his selection while in camp at Albury, where the Storm camped during COVID.
"Last time I was in Albury I was fighting to get into the 17 for the Storm, and now I am preparing for my first Aussie game," Hynes said.
"I went for a walk earlier and had a good think about what's been happening the past few years."
Valentine Holmes is also back for Australia after his one-game ban for posing with a bag of white powder, picked on the wing in place of Selwyn Cobbo.
Props Payne Haas and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui have also been rested, with Australia already guaranteed to face the Kiwis in the November 5 final in Hamilton.
Meanwhile, the Jillaroos have also made several changes to their team for the second Test against New Zealand in Melbourne on Saturday, with North Queensland-bound winger Jakiya Whitfeld to debut, with Julia Robinson out.
Lauren Brown will start at hooker, while Cowboys No.9 Emma Manzelmann will debut off the bench.