Doctor Jannie du Plessis, brother of Bismarck, was performing a Caesarean section when BJ Botha tore knee ligaments against the USA and was ruled out of the 2007 World Cup.
Du Plessis boarded a plane to France and was named in the starting XV to play Fiji in the quarter-finals. He came off the bench in the semi-final against Argentina and was an unused substitute in the final.
Having impressed for his former team, the Cheetahs (now with the Sharks) in 2007, Du Plessis was selected for the away leg of the Tri-Nations when former Bok coach Jake White decided to rest his first-choice players. He made his Test debut against the Wallabies in Sydney and also wore the number three jersey against the All Blacks in Christchurch.
In the Boks' end of year tour in 2008, Du Plessis was called in once again as cover for injured prop Guthro Steenkamp and was part of South Africa's record trouncing of England at Twickenham.