After winning back his Wallabies No.9 jersey, Will Genia says his short-term axing from the starting team has been good for his game.
Ahead of Australia's crunch Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday (Sunday AEST), Genia is feeling fighting fit, both mentally and physically.
Although widely rated as the world's best halfback, Genia spent the past two Wallabies matches on the bench behind Nic White.
His appearance in the second half against the Springboks last weekend ignited his team's attack and he was rewarded with a recall to the starting side.
Genia said he had worked hard during his demotion to earn his jersey back.
"You can go one of two ways. You can sook and drop your bundle and lose the plot, or you can work hard and give yourself every opportunity to play well in whatever chance you have," the 25-year-old said.
"That's the path I took and I was fortunate enough to get 40 minutes at the weekend.
"Now I am lucky enough to be back starting."
Genia spent his down time working on his fitness and skills, but also used the time to revitalise his mind.
He said the three-Test British and Irish Lions series in June was a mentally gruelling period that took more out of players than most people realised.
"It is not an excuse but people should understand, mentally, it was huge.
"You just invest so much into it.
"It's once every 12 years; there's so much pressure; it's incredibly intense.
"When we finally finished, it was almost like the year was over. It was that sort of feeling - the year is done now you can have a rest but it's not because you go straight back into Super Rugby and then you have the Rugby Championship."
Genia missed playing in Rosario last year due to knee surgery and then didn't get any game time during Australia's 14-13 win over Argentina in Perth last month so he's never played against them.
Still, coach Ewen McKenzie recognised his big-game value, particularly among a backline with four players who have less than eight Test caps.
A sold-out Estadio Gigante de Arroyito stadium is expected to be a cauldron of emotion for the Pumas, who can hand the Rugby Championship wooden spoon to the Wallabies with a win.
McKenzie said it wasn't something the team had discussed.
"There's not much point in filling their (the players') heads with the negatives," McKenzie said.
"We look at this as an opportunity to beat Argentina here.
"This hasn't been an easy place for Australia to play ever, so you concentrate on that bit instead of worrying about the what-ifs or the negatives."