BISMARCK du Plessis was on Wednesday named on the bench for the Springbok team to play Scotland in a Four-Nations Test on Saturday.
The bench has some new faces too, with flank Siya Kolisi and scrumhalf Piet van Zyl making their debuts, while prop Trevor Nyakane and centre Jan Serfontein are likely to make their second appearance at Test level in Mbombela.
"I definitely would have preferred to play Super Rugby or Vodacom rugby (first). Any first-class rugby," Du Plessis said after being named on the bench.
"If I only get a minute on Saturday, I’ll try and fit 80 into it," he said with typical belligerence. "It’s very exciting to be back. ‘Frustrated’ doesn’t begin to describe my time on the sidelines."
His selection meant there was no place for Chiliboy Ralepelle, whose international career now appears to be in limbo after he agreed to join French club Toulouse.
"Competition is always a big thing," Du Plessis said of his prospects of regaining his spot in the starting line-up from Adriaan Strauss. "Without competition you may rest on your laurels.
"Adriaan is playing well and Chiliboy has been playing exceptional rugby for the Bulls."
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer sought to qualify Du Plessis’s selection, saying: "Bismarck was probably the best hooker in the world before he got injured.
"Adriaan got a chance and he’s played well and I’ve had a heart (to heart) chat with Chiliboy and he is playing his best rugby.
"I want to see what Bismarck can do for 20 minutes. It is unfortunate that Chiliboy is going overseas. I’ve always said if there is a 50-50 choice, I’ll go with the guy in South Africa."
As expected, Meyer made just two changes to the side that beat Italy. Ruan Pienaar replaces the injured Jano Vermaak at scrumhalf, while Marcell Coetzee takes the place of Francois Louw, who is getting married on Sunday.
Kolisi has had to wait his turn after injury stalled his elevation to the national team by a year.
"I kind of knew it was going to come somewhere along the line," he said matter-of-factly. "I had to fight back after I broke my hand. I worked hard. It has been worth it.
"Being a Springbok isn’t just about the rugby. It’s about the things you do off the field as well. I have to stay who I am," said the Stormers flank.
His father is his biggest fan and on Friday will board an aircraft for the first time to attend the match.
"My dad is coming up from Port Elizabeth. It will only be his second game watching me live. He’s very excited. He’s going to be more emotional than me. I am going to be the first Springbok from my township," said Kolisi.
Willie le Roux; Bryan Habana, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bjorn Basson; Morné Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Pierre Spies, Arno Botha, Marcell Coetzee; Juandré Kruger, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss. Substitutes: Bismarck du Plessis, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Siya Kolisi; Piet van Zyl, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.