He’s fallen a bit off the radar when it comes to selection in the Springboks.
But Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni is taking it all in his stride and is looking to recover the form that made him one of the country’s best hookers a couple of seasons ago.
With Bongi Mbonambi having been preferred to Ntubeni at the Stormers of late and with injuries hampering the progress of the 25-year-old, both Mbonambi and the Lions’ Malcolm Marx have overtaken Scarra in Allister Coetzee’s pecking order.
Ntubeni, though, is ready to fight for his place in the Green and Gold jumper and is hoping to have a season of note for Western Province in the Currie Cup.
Ntubeni explains: “The last two years have been stop-start with injuries and not playing that much.
“I look after my body now – I played a full Super Rugby season without being injured… and I’m building again.
“I have to have a good season – I haven’t had a good season in the past two years.”
He admits that a Springbok call-up might have seen him miss out on some game time and subsequently hinder him from upping his game.
Ntubeni adds: “If I was at the Springboks, I wouldn’t have played rugby for eight weeks, maybe more.”
WP face the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Friday (5pm).