He became the forgotten man to the Wallabies' World Cup campaign but there's a silver lining to Joe Powell's heartbreaking omission from Michael Cheika's squad.
As the Wallabies come to terms with their crushing quarter-final exit in Japan, Powell will be preparing to help the Canberra Vikings chase a maiden National Rugby Championship title this weekend.
Powell came agonisingly close to fulfilling his World Cup dream before being cut from Australia's squad on the eve of the tournament.
The 25-year-old was arguably the form scrumhalf of Australian rugby this year, but Cheika opted to take only two No.9s in Nic White and Will Genia.
Canberra have been the main beneficiaries of World Cup omissions with Powell, Pete Samu, Toni Pulu, Rob Valetini and Tom Banks turning their disappointment into star power for the Vikings.
World Cup heartbreak will tell a very different story when the overlooked quintet meet the Western Force in the championship decider on Saturday.
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"Things haven't gone my way over the last couple of months, so it's good to be winning games for the Vikings," Powell said.
"It'll definitely be a nice way to finish with the Vikings first premiership in the NRC. It's good we've given ourselves the opportunity to do that.
"No Vikings team has done it before, so it would definitely be an awesome thing for our team to do."
The Vikings overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Fijian Drua and secure their spot in their third grand final in five years.
Nick Scrivener's side have won four-straight matches on the trot but their last trip to Western Australia left the tourists hollow in defeat.
Powell's return to the Vikings squad was marred by a 45-28 loss to the minor premiers at UWA Sports Park in round four, but the scrumhalf has vowed to do one better and hit them where it counts.
"It's good to be playing them in the final because we were disappointed with how we played them earlier in the year," Powell said.
"It'll be nice to hopefully do one better against them this time. It's about preparing well and doing all the things right around traveling.
"They're a good side and have played a lot together. They've definitely got some good set piece which will test us, and have some big outside backs as well. It'll be a good game."
The Force remain undefeated at home after beating Brisbane City 42-38 to secure hosting rights for the grand final on Saturday.
The Vikings are hoping to be bolstered by Valetini after the back-rower rolled his ankle while preparing for their semi-final clash with Fiji.
Grand final: Western Force v Canberra Vikings in Perth, Saturday 3pm (AEST)