On 9 June 2012, with no Currie Cup experience, 21 year old Eben Etzebeth first pulled on the green & gold jersey under head coach Heyneke Meyer’s instruction.
It was a lifelong dream fulfilled by the youngster who had impressed during his early Stormers days.
It is somewhat clear from the game that the magnitude of the occasion did not escape his mind as the Springboks took on the English in Durban. However, the nerves did not stop the 2.03m, 123kg second-rower rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty.
One or two small mistakes were overshadowed by his solid set-piece contributions and strong runs over the advantage line.
He was subbed shortly before the 1 hour mark, his first cap finally under the belt and the promise of greater things was in the air.
Today, Etzebeth is only 15 caps away from the revered international ‘100 club’ and has grown not only into a cult figure of Springbok rugby, but one of the most feared and respected forwards in the world.
He curently plies his trade with Toulon in the French Top 14 after 62 appearances for the Stormers.