Carel: Aplon brings X-factor
Cape Town - Former Springbok wing Carel du Plessis says the Stormers have enough class in their backline despite being unable to call on the services of Bryan Habana
for their Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"There is (in Habana's absence) more than enough attacking prowess in the Stormers backline. Gio Aplon is the one player with that much-needed X-factor," Du Plessis told the Volksblad website
"He (Aplon) is the player that the Cheetahs will want to keep the ball away from. Joe's (Pietersen) shift to wing is probably due to his place kicking and it will be interesting to see how Jaco Taute is utilised at fullback.
"However, everything will depend on how well (Nick Groom) and 10 (Elton Jantjies
) play. If they do well, then the Stormers will ask enough questions on attack. But so far they've been too inconsistent."
The former "Prince of Wings" also singled out the Cheetahs flyers Willie le Roux and Raymond Rhule as potential danger men at the home side's disposal.
"I'm really impressed by Willie's attacking play. He sums up the situation quickly and correctly. His decision making is very accurate. He is a creative and clever player."
Du Plessis feels Rhule has all the ingredients to play top-class rugby for years to come.
"He (Rhule) and Willie's big challenge will be not to get too arrogant and flashy. They should keep their feet firmly grounded."
Kick-off at the Free State Stadium is at 17:05.Teams:Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johan Sadie, 2 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuisen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius
, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Ryno Benjamin
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Joe Pietersen
, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Elton Jantjies
9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi
, 5. Andries Bekker
, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Gerbrandt Grobler, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Gary van Aswegen, 22. Damian de Allende