Wing JP Pietersen never had any doubt that his old Springbok teammate and new captain Jean de Villiers would excel at outside centre.
The 43-cap Bok speedster has spent a fair amount of time in the No.13 jersey for the Sharks this season, so he knows all about the difficulties of trying to adjust to the position, but he is as convinced as coach Heyneke Meyer that De Villiers has what it takes to dominate in his new midfeld role.
He told this website: "I think Jean is a senior player and he can slot in wherever he wants to play."
As Pietersen has discovered in his Super Rugby cameos in the position, one of the biggest challenges facing an outside centre is the responsibility of setting the defensive organisation out wide.
De Villiers has the advantage of having played Test rugby in both centre positions and on the wing, whilst his vast experience in the No.12 jersey also means that he knows what it takes to stop powerful ball-carriers like Manu Tuilagi in their tracks.
De Villiers would have learned a lot in his time playing next to Jaque Fourie, who is regarded as one of the best defensive generals in the game, and Pietersen said that his skipper's communication skills had been central to the backline's assured defensive effort in Durban.
"He has got great leadership abilities and we have played together for a couple of years now so we have got a good understanding and there is good communication on the field," said Pietersen.
Meyer has made no secret of his belief that the new midfield partnership between De Villiers and Frans Steyn has a big future.
There is no doubt that Steyn's best position is inside centre as he can focus on straightening the line and using his massive physical presence to win the collisions, while De Villiers is suited to a more creative role on attack and has shown that he definitely still has enough pace to play at outside centre.
The new Bok captain made the point before the first Test last week that he has shifted to a wider role in open play at times for the Stormers this season, and also suggested that the move could prolong his career as he will not have to deal with as much heavy traffic.
He certainly has the credentials to make the position his own, and his skills complement Steyn's abilities better than any other candidate, so they should be given an opportunity to develop as a combination at the highest level.
The new Bok centre pairing certainly showed a lot of potential at Kings Park, but it was not a flawless display and they will need to use the remaining two Tests against a relatively inexperienced England midfield to ensure that they are on the money by the time they face the slick All Black and Wallaby backlines in the Rugby Championship.
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 Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
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 Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
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.