Cape Town - Scarra Ntubeni knew his Springbok fate weeks before the World Cup squad was announced.
The bubbly Western Province hooker was a part of the training camps and preliminary squads, but he knew long ago that he would not be on the plane to England where the Boks will look to win their third Webb Ellis Cup.
“I’m over the disappointment. I knew about six or seven weeks ago so now it’s a bit like old news for me,” Ntubeni said at Newlands on Thursday.
Still just 24-years-old, Ntubeni will have at least one more crack at making a World Cup squad.
For now, though, his attention is firmly on the Currie Cup where he will start for Western Province against Griquas at Newlands on Saturday.
“For the past few months of my career I think I’ve been a bit unsettled … getting injured towards the end of Super Rugby, not playing anything when I was with the Boks. Coming back here I think now I’m a bit settled,” Ntubeni said.
“(John Dobson) Dobbo wanted me to come back and the sense of being wanted and coming back home for me was very important.”
It was perhaps Schalk Brits’ northern hemisphere experience – he has been at Saracens since 2009 – that persuaded Heyneke Meyer in the end, but Ntubeni knows that he will be next in line should any injuries occur.
“I still get all the e-mails, I still know what’s happening there,” he said.
“The door is open but at the moment I’m really happy where I am and I just need to focus on playing well for Province.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr (captain), 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. JP Smith, 18. Chris van Zyl, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Godlen Masimla, 21. Robert du Preez, 22. Dillyn Leyds
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Substitutes: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 19 Jonathan Adendorf, 20 Leon Karemaker, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Jacquin Jansen