After being named in the Ireland team to face South Africa on Saturday, Jacob Stockdale is relishing the chance to make his mark in what will be his home debut for the national side.

Stockdale takes his place in a new-look backline that also includes debutant Bundee Aki, and Andrew Conway, who replaces the injured Keith Earls.

The Ulster winger made his senior debut against the United States last June in a side short of many key names due to Lions commitments. With a stronger side now available for this Autumn Series, Stockdale is delighted to be part of the set-up.

"It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride the whole way through. I'm excited to see what I can do in the next couple of weeks," he outlined when speaking to the media after Thursday's team announcement.

"It's a new team, it's exciting. On the summer tour I had the opportunity to learn off other players like Keith Earls, he was phenomenal.

"On the tour I got a sense of what I wanted to achieve with Ireland and with Ulster. It was a brilliant experience.

"And now I'm getting a few tips off guys that I haven't trained with before, the likes of Rob Kearney, who has been brilliant.  

"Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have been great in terms of my defensive positioning. And then you have coaches - Joe (Schmidt) and Andy Farrell.

"Joe has a policy that nobody is certain of their place, you have to earn your place. We now have the chance to train well enough and play well enough to earn a spot in the team."

As for Saturday and that date with South Africa, a somewhat beaming Stockdale added: "It's something that every young Irish boy dreams of. For it to be coming true now is very, very exciting.

"I'm really looking forward to running out onto the Aviva stage." 

Ireland v South Africa (5.30pm kick-off), live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player from 4.30pm & on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport, with a live blog on RTÉ Online from 4.30pm.