We said - Next year we should come and watch a game together
When South Africa take on England in the third and final Test in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, local hero Jacques Potgieter will be a lot closer to the action than he thought.
Just a year ago, as a spectator when the Springboks beat the All Blacks 18-5 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in his hometown, Potgieter made a promise to his friends - to 'watch' the Bok play the English in 2012.
He had planned to join some mates in the stands.
However, on Saturday he will be on the field, in the thick of the action, after having been named in coach Heyneke Meyer's starting XV for the weekend's series finale.
"It has been a big roller coaster ride," Potgieter told a media scrum, after it was confirmed that he had gone from Bok fan to Test player in less than 12 months.
The fiery flank has made massive strides in the last year - moving from the First Division (second tier competition in South Africa) in 2011 to playing Super Rugby for the Bulls this year.
"I was still playing First Division last year, and was sitting in the stands and my friends said: 'We should go and watch every game of the Boks'," an excited Potgieter said.
"We said: 'Next year we should come and watch a game together'."
On Saturday he will be 'watching' the action from a lot closer than his friends.
Potgieter has just returned after five weeks on the sidelines because of a knee injury.
The rugged ball-carrying loose forward was a stand-out player in the Bulls' charge into the top six (play-off places) on the Super Rugby standings - making him the perfect replacement for the injured Willem Alberts.
Playing in last year's Nations Cup as part of the SA Kings spurred him on to greater things.
"It was just an amazing feeling when we played in the Nations Cup for Eastern Province in Romania," said the 26-year-old.
"The first time I sang the national anthem for the country I said: 'I can't wait to play for the Boks'.
"Obviously, it was only a dream then but this year I am here."
Potgieter conceded that replacing Alberts, who has been one of the greatest weapons for South Africa with his strong ball carrying ability and bone-crunching defence, would be a challenge.
"I think Willem had an amazing two games, he is an amazing player," he said.
"It is going to be big boots to fill because he just bashed those England 'okes' very hard."
While the two players are similar in style of play, Potgieter felt he would bring something different to the team.
"We have the same roles on the field and it won't be easy but I am looking forward to the challenge," said Potgieter.
The one similarity between Potgieter and Alberts is that they seem to lack any kind of fear of running into opposing players at full speed.
"I always throw myself in front of anyone in front of me, I mean, that is the way I play," said Potgieter.
"I just see it as a challenge to be as effective as he (Alberts) was.
"He always got us over the advantage line to give our backs ball to play and that is what I will also try to do."