David Pocock will play his first game in ten months when he captains the Brumbies in their first trial game for 2014 against the Highlanders.
The openside flanker will skipper a 27 player Brumbies squad for the first 40 minutes in Friday's match in Queenstown, with incumbent Brumbies captain Ben Mowen being rested.
Pocock, who served as Wallabies skipper in 2012, has been sidelined since a season-ending knee injury against the Waratahs last March.
Centre Pat McCabe, prop Scott Sio and veteran winger Clyde Rathbone are the only other members of the squad with Test experience, with coach Stephen Larkham opting to rest those who played in the Wallabies' Spring Tour of Europe in November.
Pocock admits the nerves will continue to build ahead of the trial, as the anterior cruciate ligament rupture was the first major injury of his career.
"It's the first big surgery I've had, but the Brumbies have such a good rehab program and I'm very confident with where I'm at and it's all mental now," he said.
"I'm nervous, but I think I'm more excited."
The flanker said he wasn't sure how much game time he'd get in the trial, but it's expected to be at least 40 minutes.
"But when I'm out there, hopefully (I'll) go pretty hard," he said.
"In trial games it's about testing yourself, getting a bit of match fitness."
While Mowen's departure to France at the end of the season means there will soon be a new Wallabies captain, Pocock insisted he's more interested in reclaiming the No.7 Test jersey from Michael Hooper.
"Hoops has been great. John Eales Medallist - that says it all," Pocock said.
"He's really made that No.7 jumper his own, so for me my focus is just playing well for the Brumbies."
And despite spending "a long year on the sidelines", Pocock hinted he might have one or two extra tricks up his sleeve to help him reclaim that spot thanks to veteran Brumbies legend George Smith.
Smith, who was on loan to the Brumbies in 2013 from Japanese club Suntory, was instrumental in taking the ACT franchise to the Super Rugby grand final after replacing Pocock.
"It was just vintage George Smith. I guess it's big boots to fill, but I'm looking forward to the challenge," Pocock said.
"There's a few different subtleties (George) had learnt in France and Japan. I chatted to him a lot and hopefully I've picked up a few things."
Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher played down theories that picking Pocock as captain in his first match back meant he was being earmarked to take over the reins from Mowen in 2015.
"It's just 40 minutes on Friday," Fisher said.
Brumbies squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Fotu Auelua, Jarrad Butler, Sam Carter, Robbie Coleman, Lionel Cronje, Michael Dowsett, Matt Hawke, Conrad Hoffman, Rod Iona, Josh MannRea, Pat McCabe, Lachlan McCaffery, David Pocock (c), Leon Power, Clyde Rathbone, Siliva Siliva, Scott Sio, Andrew Smith, JP Smith, Michael Smith, Ruan Smith, Henry Speight, Tom Staniforth, Haru Tetakawa, Jack Whetton, Stephan Van der Walt.