BY ELLIOT MATHYE
The South African Rugby Union has announced the news that Deon Stegmann will make his first appearance in the Boks colours in their Test match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, November 6.
Saru also added that utility back, Patrick Lambie could also make his debut if Jean de Villiers failed his fitness test resulting in two uncapped players being fielded.
Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Captain Victor Matfield and Jannie du Plessis have secured their spots for the Ireland match and unfortunately Frans Steyn will only join the Boks after after the Ireland match.
Stegmann, 24, will replace Schalk Burger who withdrew from the touring squad after suffering a broken rib during the Currie Cup final between the Sharks and Western Province.
Man of the match in the Absa Currie Cup final, Lambie, is on standby to substitute De Villiers at inside centre should he not be a 100 percent after a groin injury.
Controversial coach Peter de Villiers said that he was rather looking at the positive side and will use the opportunity to test young and new players in the harshest competition.
“We have a number of senior players returning to the team after long lay-offs for one reason or another and they are keen to re-stake their claim to a starting place but the younger players have worked hard all week to be as well prepared as they possibly can”, he said.
De Villiers further added that the backline selection had been tough due to injuries on veteran centres Jaque Fourie, Wynand Olivier and Jean de Villiers, and young blood Juan de Jongh, and Frans Steyn.
The team to represent South Africa against Ireland is:
Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers/ Patrick Lambie, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield (captain), Bakkies Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.
REPLACEMENTS: Chiliboy Ralepelle, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Willem Alberts/Keegan Daniel, Francois Hougaard, Adi Jacobs, Patrick Lambie/Lwazi Mvovo.