Being handed a starting berth against Georgia in the team’s opening match of the season at Loftus Versfeld on Friday is a dream come true, and while some may allude to the big boots he has to fill following the retirement of legendary Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira, Nché said he was on a different path at this stage of his career.

“It’s a privilege to have received this opportunity,” said Nché.

“I cannot compare myself to players like Os (du Randt) and Tendai.

“This is the beginning of my journey, and they are legends. So, to alleviate pressure on myself, all I am thinking about is what I can do for the team and to contribute as much as I can.”

He added: “It’s every players’ dream to represent their country and to be the best they can be, and I’ve been telling myself that I have to do whatever it takes to be here.

“I’ve been working hard and the goal was to be here, and get the chance. It is the biggest honour and privilege to represent your country, and when I doubted that I would be here again, I turned to hope and hard work.”

The Cell C Sharks strongman looked forward to the challenge of lining up against a powerful scrummaging outfit such as Georgia and said: “I’m excited for the challenge.

“They are a physical team, so taking them in on the set pieces is going to be a major challenge, but we have prepared well for that and we are looking forward to it.”

Nché spoke highly of Springbok scrum coach Daan Human and said: “Coach Daan has been a good influence for us to get to the next step.

“I’ve worked with him since Under-19 level. He has a passion for scrummaging and has ignited that in us as forwards, and things are very competitive, so I am looking forward to it and enjoying it.”

With the Castle Lager Lions Series looming and only a handful of players fortunate to face them on their tour to South Africa every 12 years, Nché was cautious about looking too far ahead and said his focus was solely on giving his best against Georgia.

“Every team brings a different challenge,” he said.

“I just want to give it my best whether it is against Georgia or the British & Irish Lions and show what I am capable of at the highest level.”