Vodacom Super 14

Aplon big enough for Boks

2010-05-23 22:30
Gio Aplon (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town – It’s one thing to get to the top, but quite another to stay there.

That is why Stormers wing Gio Aplon does not want to fall into the trap of taking a swipe at critics that believed he was too small for 15-man rugby now that he has been picked to play for the Springboks in their June 5 Test against Wales in Cardiff.

“I want to try and settle in the side and become a regular for the Boks. The hard work to try and stay there starts now. I have to stay humble and not get carried away,” Aplon told Sport24 on Sunday.

Aplon nevertheless thanked Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu and the Stormers management following confirmation that he will wear the Green-and Gold in the Millennium Stadium.

“I’m grateful for the chance I got to play Sevens last year. I told myself that I had to prove that I belonged at a level above that and had to play well in every tournament. Paul threw me a lifeline,” said Aplon.

“The coaches at the Stormers also showed a lot of faith in me. My form picked up as a result. Sireli (Naqelevuki) was still the first choice on the wing last year, but they showed faith in me from the outset.”

Juan de Jongh said his inclusion in the Bok squad had come as a “big surprise”.

“My Saturday really built up (to a special day) from beginning to end,” said De Jongh, who scored an excellent try for the Stormers in their semi-final against the Waratahs.

De Jongh played two tour games for the Boks last year, but should make his Test debut against Wales off the substitute’s bench.

“It’s wonderful to get the opportunity again. It’s a new challenge and this time a Test, which is the real deal. I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” said De Jongh.

As far as his Saturday is concerned, De Jongh confirmed it was one of the “special moments” of his career to date.

His brilliant individual try was hailed by Stormers coach Allister Coetzee as the turning point in the match.

Meanwhile, Stormers flanker Francois Louw will follow in the footsteps of grandfather Jan Pickard when he dons the Bok jersey against Wales. Pickard played four Tests for South Africa from 1953 to 1958.

Louw will wear South Africa’s No 6 jersey against the Welsh.

Two other Stormers – lock Andries Bekker and scrumhalf Ricky Januarie – are also in the Boks’ plans for the Test in Cardiff.

Read more on:    gio aplon

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

If Super14 champs, the Bulls, had to take on Heineken Cup champs, Toulouse, at a neutral venue, which side would win?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.