Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien is hoping to play a part in the quest for glory in 2018 Six Nations.
The 30-year-old is currently trying to recover from a hip injury in time to return for the final three games of the Six Nations having been forced to watch the victories over France and Italy from the sidelines.
Ireland's eight-try victory over Italy has saw them leapfrog England to the top of the standings with home clashes against Wales (February 24), Scotland (February Mar 10) and a potential Grand Slam decider against England at Twickenham (March 17) to come.
Speaking on The Left Wing Live with Luke Fitzgerald, in association with Aer Lingus, O'Brien revealed how it hasn't been easy to watch the exploits of Joe Schmidt's side without being involved.
"Hopefully play a part in the Six Nations. We'll see how this week goes and we'll tick a few boxes and assess where we are going forward.
"It's been up-and-down with small niggles and different bits and pieces. Hopefully when I do get back fit I get back and get a good run of games. That's all I want to do, get back out and play. Pretty frustrating at the minute with the lads going so well and missing a few big games. That's the priority for me."
Schmidt has expressed the hope that O'Brien could be available for selection for the Welsh game but neither he or Garry Ringrose will be risked in Leinster's Guinness PRO14 clash with the Scarlets this weekend.
O'Brien is confident that he will be ready to go even though he may lack a little game time.
"You've done an awful lot of work in terms of rehab and looking after yourself in the weeks leading up to the game. Your body composition and stuff like that has to be good and that gives you the confidence when you go into a game that you're nearly fit," he added.
"You need a game or a game-and-a-half to get REALLY match fit. The first 20 minutes you're blowing hard but that's nearly like every Test match.
"Just as long as you're going back in in the best shape possible and then getting as many minutes as you can under your belt."
Nine match points secure and a 39-point scoring differential at the top of the table after the first block of games makes for a pretty impressive start. I believe Joe Schmidt when he says he would have gratefully accepted that position had he been offered it a fortnight ago.