10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Test Caps: 0
Teenage star Francois Steyn, who showed poise beyond his years for the Natal Sharks this season, is South Africa's answer to Luke Fitzgerald. His rise is as meteoric as that of the young Leinster back.
Steyn will line out on the wing on Saturday, winning his first senior cap having only made his Currie Cup debut for the Sharks this season. He has yet to feature in the Super 14 competition.
He has put in some excellent performances at out-half and full-back for the Sharks but his selection as a winger comes as no surprise. He will make his debut in a new-look back three alongside full-back Bevin Fortuin and right winger Jaco Pretorius.
...Francois Steyn flanked by the other new caps, Bevin Fortuin and Jaco Pretorius. The players are holding the special Jersey that the Springboks will wear to mark the centenary of the first tour to Ireland and the UK...
Springboks coach Jake White is a big fan of the Grey College graduate and has lauded him as "big strong runner" who could have a big impact from his left wing berth.
Steyn grew up on a farm in Free State and played Coca-Cola Craven Week, Under-19 and Under-21 for Free State. He joined the Sharks Academy last year and has also spent time in the Murray Mexted Academy in Palmerston North in New Zealand. He also appeared for the South African U-19s last year.
Steyn's best game of the Currie Cup was at out-half against Western Province when, in the pouring rain, he destroyed the WP defence and won the man-of-the-match gong. He was at full-back for the semi-final.
Definitely 'one to watch.'
STEYN - QUOTES:
"We're the three new guys in the team and it just so happens that we form the back triangle, so I suppose a special bond has formed between us. We've clicked nicely and there's obviously a lot of excitement between us.
"We're expecting the Irish to kick quite a number of balls on to us, but we've been communicating well in training. I'm confident that we'll help each other out and handle ourselves as best we can in defence.
"While you always try to stick to the game plan, it's important that you're also able to think on your feet and express yourself. I want to go out there and do what works for me and play the kind of game I'm used to."