Western Force forward Hugh McMeniman says he's ready to rumble against the Waratahs next week after making a successful return from a shoulder reconstruction.
McMeniman made it through 40 minutes of Friday's 54-12 Super Rugby trial win over Samoa A at nib Stadium.
It was the 30-year-old's first competitive hitout since August last year, but he said his reconstructed left shoulder pulled up well and he's ready to face the Waratahs in Sydney on February 23.
"I had no problems out there with my shoulder at all," McMeniman said.
"That was my first game in a long while and I was definitely puffing and the lungs were burning.
"But when you get to games like against the Waratahs, you can find an extra gear just with adrenaline.
"I'd love to play against them.
"I've done the work to get up to this point, so now it's just all about playing. Hopefully I get selected.
"But the competition for spots against (Sam) Wykes and Wilhelm (Steenkamp) is going to be pretty strong."
McMeniman looms as a key player for the Force this season.
The rampaging lock said the six-hour operation he underwent to fix his shoulder was one of the most painful experiences of his life.
"I had two screws inserted; two wires in the AC. I had a tendon graft and a full global reconstruction as well," McMeniman said.
"The couple of days after were pretty ruthless."
The demolition of Samoa A by the Force reserves squad was followed up by a 29-6 win over the Argentine Pampas in the night's main match.
Recruit Luke Morahan scored one try to go with three assists, while Wallabies winger Nick Cummins crossed twice.
Hooker Nathan Charles and No.8 Ben McCalman also scored tries in the confidence-boosting win.
Captain Matt Hodgson said it was pleasing to hold both Samoa A and the Pampas tryless.
"We stepped up a lot in defence last year and it's something we've continued to work on," Hodgson said.
"We've got goals around that and we definitely want to continue to improve and force the opposition to work extremely hard for any points they get."