South Africa's World Cup-winning captain John Smit emerged from his first meeting with new Springbok coach Peter de Villiers impressed and confident for the future of the team.
The pair got together on the skipper's brief return to South Africa from his French club Clermont Auvergne and walked out in good spirits.
De Villiers had previously warned the first-team regulars they needed to prove themselves to him and earn their places in the national squad.
"The guy wants what is best for the Springboks," Smit told the Pretoria News. "If you are a South African rugby player or supporter you have to be encouraged by that.
"He's had success at national Under-19 and Under-21 level. His track record is one of producing winning teams."
Smit added that reports of players demanding a meeting with De Villiers were a fallacy and that no player had the right to demand a selection guarantee.
"Yes we won the World Cup, but no player in that World Cup squad is bigger than the game," warned the 29-year-old. "No player has ownership of the Springbok jersey. It is earned through performance.
"I said it before we played Wales (last November) that we have to move on from the World Cup success. I'd like to think we already have.
"As far as I am concerned nothing has changed: if a player consistently performs he makes it hard for the selectors not to pick him. No player should be given preferential treatment. It is about how he is performing in 2008 that matters.
"I was fortunate to chat with Peter and I'm as optimistic about the Boks in 2008 as I was about the Boks in 2007. Whether I am picked for the Springboks in 2008 or not I am comfortable the future is bright for the Springboks.
"I don't share the view that all is doom and gloom and I think those opinions are ill-informed and unfair towards the new coach."