Jan Serfontein (Gallo Images)
Newcastle - Jan Serfontein said Tuesday he was shocked to get the call to replace South African captain Jean de Villiers at the World Cup.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer put the 22-year-old Blue Bulls centre on alert Saturday after de Villiers broke his jaw for the second time in little more than a month and decided to quit international rugby.
"I was surprised to get the call," said Serfontein who could still start a key Pool B match against Scotland on Saturday.
"I was watching the Wales-England game and I got a call from coach Heyneke saying that Jean is injured and he was considering picking me and he would only confirm it on Sunday.
"I struggled to sleep on Saturday night and got the news on Sunday, but I'm happy to be here now and will do everything I can to contribute. But it's not ideal circumstances with Jean injured."
Serfontein played in all of South Africa's 12 tests in 2014 -- forming an effective partnership with de Villiers -- and some say he was unlucky not to be called into the World Cup squad where Meyer preferred Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel.
"It was a difficult season, I had a couple of injuries, which didn't help, at vital times in the season and Jesse (Kriel) did very well and got his chance.
"I can't complain or anything but the life gives you a few curveballs, and you have to adapt," he said.
De Allende is suffering from a knock to the knee suffered in the 46-6 win over Samoa on Saturday.
De Allende, who had an outstanding game against the Samoans, said he was still not sure whether he would be ready for the next game against Scotland.