5 Nov 2010

Stegmann to start for Boks

12:02 pm on 5 November 2010

Deon Stegmann is set to make his rugby Test debut for South Africa after the flanker was named in a much-altered side by coach Peter de Villiers for the grand slam tour-opening Test against Ireland this weekend.

Stegmann is to replace injured back-row star Schalk Burger and utility back Patrick Lambie could also make his Test debut for the world champions if centre Jean de Villiers fails to overcome a groin problem.

If de Villiers is ruled out, South Africa's team will show nine changes to the side that ended a dismal Tri-Nations with a 41-39 loss to Australia in September - the Springboks' fifth defeat in six matches in that tournament.

Victor Matfield, the experienced secondrower, leads the side in place of regular skipper John Smit, missing the tour through injury.

Of the team that played against the Wallabies, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Matfield and Jannie du Plessis are all set to start.

Ireland, themselves on a five-match losing streak, will be aiming for their fourth straight win over South Africa in what will be the first international match at the redeveloped Lansdowne Road.