Sam Carter, the uncapped second-row parachuted into Ewen McKenzie's starting lineup, admitted his surprise at getting the nod.
Carter beat out former Wallabies and Reds skipper, James Horwill, as well as the fancied Waratahs lock Will Skelton for a spot in McKenzie's first June selection against France on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Brumbies man said even he was caught cold by the news of his impending debut.
"I was told just before the team announcement," Carter told ABC.
"I was focusing on the line-outs with Bladesy (set-piece coach Andrew Blades) and, as soon as I was told, I completely forgot what I was talking about.
"There's a lot of information I have to go across between now and Saturday's match but I'm just trying to stay on top of it and control everything."
McKenzie himself, never one to shy away from a bold selection, hailed Carter's ball skills as well as his grunt and grovel in the engine room.
"He's a very natural footballer," acknowledged McKenzie.
"Anyone that saw him play on the weekend would appreciate all the subtle elements in attack and defence he can contribute."