Johannesburg - Having watched many of his team-mates from the New Zealand Under-21 side take the step up to the senior team, lock James Broadhurst was beginning to lose hope his time would come.
That will end on Saturday when the 27-year-old makes his debut in the Rugby Championship clash against South Africa at a fiery Ellis Park.
Broadhurst, who's older brother is an international with Japan, said a change in attitude has brought the consistency in performance that had been missing earlier in his career.
"There were definitely times when I had doubts," Broadhurst told reporters on Thursday.
"But I have tried to step up in professionalism and build a solid routine. A big focus for me has been consistency. In the last year especially I think I have done that."
A mainstay of the Wellington Hurricanes side that cruised into the Super Rugby final this year before losing to the Otago Highlanders, the second-rower said it was still a surprise when he was told of his selection.
"I wasn't coming over here (South Africa) expecting too much, especially with the way the lock pairing played last weekend," he said.
"I don't really know what to expect but I know it's going to be a jump up from what I have faced before.
"It's going to be a sterner test than the Bulls at Loftus, which is pretty tough, so I am just excited for what is to come."
Broadhurst might be earning his first cap but will be playing in a pack that totals 500 international appearances between them. He said having that experience around him will be comforting.
"That brings confidence to me, it's one thing the coach (Steve Hansen) said to the debutants last week, just look around to the guys next to you. If you get nervous, just do that and it should help get you through."
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Francois Louw, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 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 Vincent Koch, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lionel Mapoe
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa