Rookie Springbok second row forward Gerhard Mostert may be well down the national pecking order, but he is determined to make the most of his Test debut.
Mostert, who was named in the Bok starting XV for his debut Test against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday, had to rush back from Paris this week after a rash of injuries decimated the team's second row stocks.
The new Stade Francais recruit was part of the Bok pre-World Cup training squad, before being released to his French club.
He was behind a host of experienced Test locks in the Bok pecking order - the likes of Victor Matfield, Andries Bekker (who will now miss the World Cup), Bakkies Botha, Flip van der Merwe and Johann Muller.
However, he hardly had time to unpack his bags before the call came for him to join up with the team in Australasia.
Matfield, Bekker and Botha had already missed to away leg of the Tri-Nations. Then Muller failed to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered at the training camp in Johannesburg and Van der Merwe injured his rib cartilage against Australia last week.
That left just two fit locks - Danie Rossouw, who will play at No.8 against the All Blacks, and Alistair Hargreaves. Hence the call to Mostert.
"I didn't expect it," Mostert said, when asked about the Bok SOS, adding: "I was settling in very well in France, but very excited."
Mostert is adamant his Super Rugby experience will stand him in good stead in the international arena.
"Yes, I am uncapped, but I am sure I will be up for the task."
Asked about his style of play, the 26-year-old said there is nothing 'flash' about him.
“I think my first job is to do the basics that are expected of a lock," Mostert said.
""[I must] get to the breakdown, hit rucks, hurt a few people.
"If you do that, I don't think there is any need to do anything flashy,” he added.
Another rookie in the Bok team, fullback Patrick Lambie, is also determined to make the most of his first start in the Green and Gold.
Lambie will start in the No.15 jersey after Gio Aplon was also forced to return home through injury.
The Sharks utility was unconcerned where in the team he was playing, so long as he was on the field.
"This weekend I'm really excited to be getting my first start and it's at fullback so I'll be giving my best and doing whatever I can to help the team," he said.
Playing at fullback was not a problem, he said he had probably played both flyhalf and fullback in equal parts during his career.
"I first came onto the scene with the Sharks at fullback and had half a season in Super Rugby last year at fullback and a third of the way through the Currie Cup last year I moved to flyhalf and I played the majority of this season of Super Rugby at flyhalf, before moving back for a game or two at fullback.
"So I'm probably as much a fullback as I am a flyhalf," he said.
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