Huw Jones insists he is ready to play the role of super sub if it helps convince Gregor Townsend he still has a Scotland future.
The Glasgow centre climbed off the bench to spark a fightback against Ireland on Sunday as he scored his first Test try in three years.
His efforts proved in vain, however, as Johnny Sexton’s last-gasp penalty snatched a 27-24 win which killed of the Scots’ faint Guinness Six Nations title hopes.
But Jones is hoping the comeback is still on for his international career after losing a number 13 jersey which was once his sole property to Chris Harris.
The Warriors ace has spent much of this season filling in at full-back for his Scotstoun club side. But now he hopes his efforts at the weekend show he can still be the main man in midfield, even if it means he has to wait for a place in Townsend’s starting line-up.
“I am pleased obviously to get over the line and score a try but Sunday was a frustrating day on the whole,” said Jones.
“I have been working hard this season. I have played a lot at 15. I only got my first game at 13 for Glasgow a couple of weeks ago.
“I am just doing the best I can with the opportunities I get.
“If my role in the Scotland squad is to come off the bench and try and make an impact then I have to try and take it.
“Chris has been ahead of me at 13 for the last year or so and he has been playing really good rugby so I have to keep up my performances when I get the chance with Glasgow to play at 13.
“If I come on for Scotland I have to just try and make the best impact I can.”
Jones burst onto the international scene in 2016, going onto deliver 10 tries in his opening 13 Test starts.
But Sunday’s impressive finish was the first time he had got across the whitewash for the Dark Blues since his Murrayfield double against England in the Scots’ 2018 Calcutta Cup triumph.
His defensive deficiencies are the reason why Harris has been able to edge him out of the picture – and Jones admits he previously feared there might not be a way back.
But the 27-year-old now believes if he can deliver his golden touch in attack it will be impossible for Townsend to ignore him.
“I have had frustrating times in the past when I thought I might not get back in the squad or the match-day squad,” said Jones after ending his 14-Test drought.
“But I am grateful for the opportunity to play anytime I do and try my best when I come on.
“It was quite a relief to get back on the scoresheet again as it has been a while. So I was pleased with that.
“It is quite clear that my biggest strength is my attacking play and if I am firing and scoring tries that can only be good. For me to be playing my best I need to be attacking really well and creating.”
Jones is expected to depart Glasgow in the summer following four years at Scotstoun, with a move to Bayonne lined up.
But he sees no reason why a switch to France should hamper his Scotland chances.
He said: “I would love to continue to stay in the picture for Scotland and continue to play.
“As far as I know any move will not affect that. It is important for me to keep my performance levels to the highest possible levels so that when it comes around to select a squad I am in the picture for that.”