Much has happened to rugby since I made my debut for Wales against England in the Five Nations 20 years ago, but I don't believe the pleasure of playing for your country has increased - nor has the pressure to win.
Professionalism has brought in many changes, but what goes into your wallet will never match what goes into your heart, and your stomach, when you line up for the national anthems.
If anything, Saturday's game may be less of an occasion, because 20 years ago we didn't play as many internationals, neither did we have nearly as many vital club matches. Big games were a comparative rarity.
The players who will face each other at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday will have prepared for much longer and more intensely for the game than we did. They will have been training and living together for at least two weeks whereas, apart from one or two brief get-togethers previously, we didn't gather until the Wednesday afternoon.
They will have been through the hands of more specialist coaches than we could have imagined and will be much bigger and fitter than we were.
Nutritionists will have watched everything they've eaten. They would have shuddered to watch us eating. On the morning of the match most of us had a full fried breakfast, apart from those who had steak and chips.
The modern players will have watched video after video, with expert analysis, and have gameplans coming out of their earholes. Each will have been given a DVD of his opposite number in action.
Unlike his counterparts today, our coach, the late John Bevan, didn't even pick the team. It was the chairman of the selectors who phoned me to say I was playing. Those days seem so far away.
John ran through our set-pieces and gave us an idea of what he wanted us to do. But it was far from the information overload players suffer from today, and that wasn't a bad thing.
Is the rugby better today? It is faster and harder but I don't think it is necessarily more enjoyable. The production of thrills, excitement and drama still depends on what goes on in the top two inches of the players' heads. That requirement has never, and will never, change, no matter what goes on off the field.
As a young debutant I didn't go out armed with advice and instructions. John told me just to follow my instinct, and added that if I was going to kick to make sure the kicks put the English under pressure. …