Autumn Internationals: Nick De Luca delighted to be handed Scotland lifeline
Nick De Luca is determined to make the most of his Scotland recall against Japan on Saturday.
Last Updated: 08/11/13 8:05am
The Edinburgh centre was suspended for this year's Six Nations and was then overlooked by Scotland head coach Scott Johnson for the summer tour of South Africa.
An injury to Alex Dunbar has handed De Luca his chance and the 29-year-old has vowed to grab his opportunity.
"It's a long time since I was involved," said De Luca. "Until I was dropped I had never missed a squad since the first one I was picked for.
"It was a blow in the summer when I was told I wasn't going to South Africa. I had played a couple of Edinburgh games after my suspension so I was hopeful and happy with how I had performed.
"But I understand what was going on and would have done the same if I'd been coach. It was important to get Dunbar and Matt Scott games to see what they could do, and they were excellent.
"I was thinking, 'Is this the end?' and no one wants to be in that position.
"I then had a great pre-season and got my head down. I'm delighted to be back."
Meanwhile, De Luca's centre partner Scott has warned Scotland to not take Japan for granted.
The Scots suffered an embarrassing defeat to Tonga in last year's autumn series and Scott is keen to avoid a repeat.
"Japan are a quality side and we can't take them lightly," he said. "Okay, they are an emerging nation but they have beaten the likes of Fiji and the United States, good teams.
"They will be targeting us for a win and will be a very dangerous side."