Springbok hope for Gio Aplon?
Cape Town - Willie le Roux's rise at the Springboks is an indication to Gio Aplon that there is a future for him in Test rugby, says Western Province backline coach Robbie Fleck.
Le Roux has featured prominently in Bok coach Heyneke Meyer
's plans and that's something Aplon has taken note of, especially as Le Roux is a similar type of player to Aplon with the much needed X-factor.
Aplon has only played for the Springboks once in Meyer's tenure - against England in Port Elizabeth last year - with the coach since opting for more bigger and physical players.
However, with Le Roux featuring prominently in a Springbok team showing some impressive attacking intent in recent games, Fleck believes the international door is not entirely shut on Aplon.
"I think there is a spot for Gio in the Springbok squad, especially now that Heyneke Meyer
has shown with his decision to pick Willie le Roux that he seeks a player with X-factor at the back. (And) that is what Gio brings to a team. He is currently playing with a lot of confidence and is one of our trump cards," Fleck said in an interview with Die Burger's website
Aplon will be at fullback for WP on Saturday when they host the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup semi-finals, and Fleck is confident that his charge will play a big role in the game.
"He's looking for opportunities out wide, has confidence under the high ball and his positional play has improved. He's the Gio of old again."
Kick-off at Newlands is at 14:30 on Saturday.
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Jean de Villiers, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Demetri Catrakilis
, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Siya Kolisi
, 6. Deon Fourie
(captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth
, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Brok Harris
, 18. Michael Rhodes
, 19. Schalk Burger, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Juan de JonghGolden Lions
15. Marnitz Boshoff, 14. Chrysander Botha, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Andries Coetzee, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Elton Jantjies
, 9 Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Derick Minnie (captain), 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Chris van Zyl, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. CJ van der Linde
Substitutes: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Robert de Bruyn