New Zealand lock James Broadhurst has revealed he thought he would never make his Test debut after being so far down the pecking order.
The 27-year-old, who this Saturday will run out as a starter against the Springboks, joins fellow debutant Lima Sopoaga in making his bow.
And after a long wait, Broadhurst is not going to waste his big opportunity.
"There were definitely times when I had doubts," admitted the hard-working lock.
"But I have tried to step up in professionalism and build a solid routine. A big focus for me has been consistency. In the last year especially I think I have done that."
Broadhurst admitted that he wasn't expecting to start the game at Ellis Park but following an excellent Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes, the second-row has this week been rewarded by All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
"I wasn't coming over here (South Africa) expecting too much, especially with the way the lock pairing played last weekend," he said.
"I don't really know what to expect but I know it's going to be a jump up from what I have faced before.
"It's going to be a sterner test than the Bulls at Loftus, which is pretty tough, so I am just excited for what is to come."