Gray's growing importance to the Scotland set-up was underlined in March when Andy Robinson ordered he sit out the remainder of Glasgow's campaign to keep him fresh for the World Cup.
But the 21-year-old is not getting complacent, seeing his enforced absence as nothing more than a chance to build up his strength and fitness.
Gray was one of five players who the Scotland head coach withdrew from selection for Glasgow and Edinburgh for the final four matches of the Magners League season.
The move came after the lock impressed in Scotland's Six Nations campaign, but he insisted he did not take it as a vote of confidence.
"I didn't really look at it in that way," said Gray.
"I looked at it in the regard I had been given a rest and what could i do to maximise it?
"The competition is huge and there is no guarantee you will be getting on the plane.
"Everyone is fighting for their position. That's the mindset I have and it's the mindset everyone has.
"There are no guarantees. I just looked at the rest as a chance to maximise my gym work as much as possible.
"The rest has done me good in regards to getting into the gym and working on my fitness. It gave me an extra block to concentrate on.
"From a rugby perspective I'm just trying dust off a few cobwebs in training and trying to get the skills coming back."
Gray, who on Thursday launched Glasgow's new kits for the season ahead, will face great expectations for Scotland's World Cup campaign, which begins in September, following his form in the winter.
But he will also make high demands on himself in New Zealand.
"I will take confidence from last season," Gray said. "I still feel there is pressure on. "I will put pressure on myself to perform. I wouldn't want to let myself or my team down, so I will put pressure on
"I will go into it with the same mentality I do every game - club or international."
Gray will be involved in the first of two warm-up games, against Ireland at Murrayfield on August 6, along with the four others who were rested in March - Alastair Kellock, Richie Gray, John Barclay, Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen.
And he is looking forward to returning to competitive action following a long spell training with Scotland's provisional World Cup squad.
"It's been a tough two months - there is no denying that," the 6ft 8in forward said. "We are improving as a squad and starting to get a bit of a game plan. Everything is going well and we're hoping to see the benefits leading into the World Cup."
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