Cape Town - Josh Strauss came close, but in the end couldn't quite translate Super Rugby form into a Springbok cap.
The bearded No 8 was called up to a national camp in 2012 when he was the captain and the shining light in a struggling Lions side, but that would be were it stopped.
Now, three years later, Strauss has the opportunity to show Bok coach Heyneke Meyer exactly what he has been missing.
Strauss will start for his adopted country when Scotland take on the Boks in Saturday's crucial World Cup clash in Newcastle.
The Scots will surely be looking to Strauss for any kind of insight as to what the Springboks offer, and he voiced a few of those thoughts in an interview with Scottish Rugby TV.
Strauss was not expecting the Boks to have changed their approach to the match at all despite their shocking loss to Japan in round 1.
"They’re one of the best teams in the world for a reason. They’ve got good structures in place," said Strauss.
"South Africa is a very proud rugby nation and a lot of rugby is played in South Africa. I think they’ll come out with the same approach they were going to have in their planning before the World Cup and try be clinical.
"I think against Japan they were a bit surprised … but I don’t think that will change their approach.
"They will be very physical, very straight, big runners coming round the corner and they’ll be looking for an arm wrestle."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:45 (SA time).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont