EP Elephants coach Peter de Villiers admits their 87-10 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria was a rude awakening for the team.
The EP players were clearly out of their depth in a 12-try romp and De Villiers knows there's hard work lying in wait.
"It was the first time I saw most of the players in action in a match. Even though it was our first match in a long time, it was unfortunately also clear that some of the players don't have the character to play at that level," De Villiers told Netwerk24.
"Rugby is war, if you don't kill people, then they'll kill you."
The coach said while he didn't literally mean to "kill', he just a metaphor to explain how tough it is at the top of the professional game.
"I won't be pulling any punches. I'm not going to lie to them. I may have to tell a few of them to find a job and play rugby part-time."
Meanwhile, with captain and flyhalf Inny Radebe out with a broken hand, De Villiers could call on the services of former provincial flyhalf Karlo Aspeling.
Aspeling, 33, is nowadays a primary school teacher and would only be able to train in the afternoons but his experience could come in handy.
He previously represented teams like the EP Kings, the Valke, Border Bulldogs, SWD Eagles, Torino (Italy) and CSM Bucuresti (Romania).
The Elephants are also looking for a new captain and the armband could fall to flank CJ Velleman or utility back Courtney Winnaar. Velleman, 26, captained the Southern Kings before when they participated in the PRO14.
EP's next match in the preparation series is against the Lions in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) on Wednesday, 10 March.