Teenage sensation Johan Goosen has excelled every time he has made a step up to the next level of the game in his short career, so how will he measure up against a Sharks team full of Springboks on Saturday?
The 19-year-old Cheetahs playmaker was writing his final Matric exams at Grey College in Bloemfontein a year ago, but this weekend he faces a major test of different kind altogether.
Goosen first caught the eye of Joe Public running the South African Under-20 backline earlier this year, and once he burst onto the Currie Cup scene with a series of accomplished all-round performances for the Cheetahs he already had punters speculating on his future prospects in the Springbok No.10 jersey.
Not only did he knock incumbent flyhalf Sias Ebersohn, who had an impressive debut Super Rugby season this year, onto the bench but the young pivot has Cheetahs fans seriously believing that he could make the difference in the Currie Cup semifinal at Kings Park against a star-studded Sharks outfit this weekend.
When quizzed about his swift rise to prominence Goosen comes across as a modest young guy who is living the dream and relishing the opportunity to test himself against the best.
"Everything has happened so fast, it hasn't quite sunk in yet. I am just carrying on. I am very happy that it has happened like this and I am grateful, I am just really enjoying it," he told this website in an exclusive interview.
There is no question that he has the full package, he can run, pass, tackle and kick the ball a mile but what ties it all together is the supreme confidence that he does everything with, as if he has seen it all before.
So what is the secret? Once again, Goosen is reluctant to blow his own horn, citing the pressure to perform at the next level as a crucial factor.
"The adrenaline rush [played a role]. I knew that Sias was the number one, and that I had to play well to win a place in the team. You have to perform because there are good players beneath you," he explained.
With the Springboks removed from most of the Currie Cup this year there have been plenty of opportunities for young players across the competition and Goosen admits that seeing SA U20 teammates such as Arno Botha, Siya Kolisi, Francois Venter and Jaco Taute excel did help him believe that he was ready.
"It does make it easier because I played with those guys and I know that I can play just as well as them because I was with them for two months so it makes it much easier," he said.
Although Grey College churns out top quality players every year, the Cheetahs often have a hard time keeping them in Bloemfontein once they have matriculated, with some classic examples being centres Dries Swanepoel and Jan Serfontein who played alongside Goosen at school and have already signed for the Bulls.
However, Goosen chose to sign a two-year contract with the Cheetahs despite some serious interest from some of the bigger unions. So what was behind that decision?
The answer is simple: "Game-time - I have got the opportunity to play here with the Cheetahs.
"Francois Venter, also left and only got his chance [late] this year. At the Bulls they have so many players but they use the older players first and they don't give the young players much of a chance.
"I don't know, if Jan Serfontein or Dries Swanepoel are good enough then they might play but I think that if I stay here then I will get an earlier chance to play," he explained.
It is a fair point and it would appear that he got the decision spot on. What better test for an ambitious young player than to take the defending Currie Cup champions on at their home ground less than three months after making your debut?
The subject of facing a Bok-laden Sharks team on Saturday clearly gets his heart racing in anticipation.
"The pressure is now on. Especially there in the Shark Tank, it is going to be a good game and they have got their Boks back so it is going to be difficult," he said with more than a hint of eagerness in his voice.
For many the battle between Goosen and veteran French international Frederic Michalak will be a focal point of the semifinal, but while Goosen has all the respect in the world for the Gallic magician he is aware that there will be other threats that he will have to deal with in Durban.
"Freddie is a good player and I have got lots of respect for him. I will be up against Freddie Michalak but he isn't the player I will be facing the whole time.
"Bismarck [Du Plessis], Jean Deysel and Willem Alberts will also be running at me so it isn't just Michalak the whole time. They [their forwards] will run at me and if I want to play at this level I will have to take them on," he pointed out.
So how will the Cheetahs approach the contest with their imposing opponents on Saturday?
Goosen, who starred against the coastal outfit when the teams clashed in Bloemfontein a few weeks ago scoring in every way possible, believes that it would be foolish for his side to change their style for the knock-out encounter and revealed that the Cheetahs will play to their strengths.
He said: "We beat them quite easily without their Springboks earlier in the season, and I don't think we should change the way we do things.
"It won't help if we change things because of their Springboks, we still want to bring the 'Cheetah flair' and throw the ball around. We can't go into a kicking mode just because it is a semifinal.
"Kicking is also important but I don't think we should change much from the way we played against them before," Goosen suggested.
So what are his long term ambitions, beyond knocking the defending champions out of the Currie Cup in front of their home crowd this weekend?
"I want to play Super Rugby for the Cheetahs, there will definitely be more guys who come through and there is also Sias and Riaan Smit who are also flyhalves.
"I think that at the end of next year, if things go well then it will be a big honour to become a Bok.
"I know that my goals are quite high but if I stick with it then I hope that I can achieve them," he said.
If he continues his career the way that he has started it then it is hard to see what could hold him back from doing so.
By Michael de Vries
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.