Durban - It feels like Thomas du Toit has been on the scene forever, but the Sharks prop is still just 22-years-old and he says that this weekend's Currie Cup final against Western Province is the biggest match of his life.
A product of the SA U-20 classes of 2014 and 2015, Du Toit has long been punted as a future Springbok.
He has been involved in Bok camps this year, but Du Toit has Tendai Mtawarira, Steven Kitshoff and seemingly Trevor Nyakane ahead of him in the loosehead pecking order.
His career may still be in its early stages, but already there has been some inconsistency in Du Toit's game and that is largely down to the fact that he has been used as both a loosehead and a tighthead over the past couple of seasons.
The Currie Cup '22-man squad' rule hasn't helped in that regard, but it looks like the No 1 jersey is Du Toit's best position moving forward.
It sets up the tantalising prospect of Du Toit scrumming down against former SA U-20 team-mate and good friend Wilco Louw.
Now 23, Louw has taken massive strides this year towards making the Bok No 3 jersey his own.
"Western Province has got a very good pack and Wilco is the anchor there," Du Toit told media in Durban on Tuesday.
"He is one of the best scrummagers in the country. We'll give him credit where credit is due, but everything changes once you go over the whitewash."
For Du Toit, this match is personal.
A product of Paarl Boys' High, he is a born and bred Capetonian and only relocated to Durban in 2014.
"It will always be a similar situation when we play Province. It's not necessarily a grudge match, but it's definitely personal," Du Toit explained.
"I think that is going to make all the difference for me in changing my mindset and getting ready for this game.
"There's a bit of nervous excitement going on. I'm super excited for this weekend. Playing Province is always going to be a special moment ... playing in a final, a semi-final or a normal game ... it's always going to be a cracker."
Louw, also a product of the Western Cape, and Du Toit go back a long way.
"Scrumming against Wilco is something that I've done a few times. It's nice to have a friend that you scrum against. We've become very close through SA U-20s and now at the Bok camp," said Du Toit.
"I know him from athletics as well ... we were always friends. The props and the front row always stay together ... the cauliflower brotherhood."
But, come 16:00 at Kings Park on Saturday, there will be no time for pleasantries.
"This is the most important game of my life," Du Toit said.
"I think that's the mentality we're all going to go in with."