Former FNB UCT utility back Damian de Allende will become the latest FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International star to get his Springbok colours this weekend.
The Stormers centre has been picked to partner Springbok captain Jean de Villiers in the midfield for the Rugby Championship clash with Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
He joins fellow former Varsity Cup stars such as Lood de Jager (NWU-Pukke), Handre Pollard (UP-Tuks), Trevor Nyakane (CUT) and Eben Etzebeth (UCT) in the Springbok match-day squad.
De Allende was a stand out member of the 2012 Ikeys Varsity Cup squad under then coach Kevin Foote.
A fast, hard running payer, he is a banker when it comes to crossing the gainline, but also has an excellent pass – something that Western Province learned to appreciate when he was picked in the 2012 Vodacom Cup squad.
De Allende then took a big step up and played in place of then injured De Villiers and was able to add a Currie Cup trophy to an outstanding season in 2012 where he started the final with Bok centre Juan de Jongh on his outside.
Another prominent Ikeys Bok of course also played in that Currie Cup final – powerhouse lock Etzebeth who had won the 2011 Varsity Cup with UCT.
The 22-year-old De Allende was set to debut in the June Tests having been part of the Springbok training squad, but an injury delayed his first cap.
De Allende said he was overwhelmed when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer broke the news on Wednesday that he would make his debut.
"It [the injury withdrawal] put a bit of a doubt in my head, but hard work pays off and I am fortunate enough to get a call up," De Allende said.
"It is my first international, so it is going to be a great challenge I know we've had success against them in the past."
He added that he will look to rely on what has got him to this position as he takes the next step up in his career.
"Anything can happen and playing the situation at that time is probably the right thing to do.
"There is obviously a lot of pressure for a player on their debut.
"Heyneke [Meyer] said I should just go out there and enjoy myself and try and play the way I played in Super Rugby."