Aplon set for fullback start

2010-08-12 10:09

Brenden Nel

Johannesburg - Stormers wing Gio Aplon looks certain to start the Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks as fullback next Saturday after the release of Zane Kirchner to play Currie Cup rugby again.

With Racing Metro fullback Frans Steyn still in limbo as to the ankle injury he picked up in a French pre-season game last weekend, Aplon is likely to be partnered by the experience of Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen as the Bok back three look to take a much more attacking shape.

There is no doubt that the plans for the away leg of the Tri-Nations didn’t work out as expected. The much-vaunted kicking game, which is built on pressure, failed without the marshalling boot of Fourie du Preez and in certain positions players were only a limited success.

Steyn will only know more about his injury on Thursday, but even if he is cleared, he will only arrive back to join the squad on Friday, where many of the players will be sent home to enjoy a weekend with their families before reconvening on Sunday to start preparations in earnest for the Soweto showdown.

He has also been out of action for the last two months due to the European off-season and there are valid question-marks about the reasoning behind his sudden reappearance in the Bok squad.

This means the Boks are likely to have a Stormers flavour at the back, with Juan de Jongh also set to get a starting role in the absence of Jaque Fourie, who will miss the Soweto game due to suspension.

The Boks have released Kirchner and Dewald Potgieter to the Blue Bulls and Beast Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis to the Sharks for their Currie Cup fixtures. The Bulls have drafted both players directly into the side while the Sharks will start their duo off the bench this weekend.

However, there was talk in the Bulls camp at expecting Wynand Olivier also to return to Currie Cup duty and that he would only remain with the Boks if Steyn was injured. If this is true, then it is the strongest indication yet that the Boks will go into the Soweto Test match with the duo of Jean de Villiers at inside centre and De Jongh outside him.

Of course, if Steyn is ruled out it could also leave a bit of a hole in the Bok plans, so much so that Kirchner may be recalled to provide stability at the back. The other idea that has been toyed with is to drop Habana, who has been woefully out of form of late, and play Aplon on the wing. Either way, ‘Appels’ is likely to be involved in the action.

So much currently hinges on the diagnosis of Steyn that the Boks are keeping their cards close to their chest. An example of this is the veiled secrecy behind Tuesday’s opening practice, where media were asked to leave after the warm-ups and it has now become apparent that Western Province defensive coach Jacques Nienaber was working with the team during the session.

It shows the urgency with which the Soweto Test is being taken and the need for the Boks to secure a victory, rather than a fourth straight loss at the historic venue.

Dewald Potgieter’s return to the Blue Bulls and the fact that Western Province have bracketed Francois Louw for a possible return could well signal the Bok intentions to return to their tried and trusted trio of Pierre Spies, Juan Smith and Schalk Burger.

However, the argument exists for a genuine fetcher to counter Richie McCaw at the breakdowns, especially with Northern Hemisphere referees pointing to a lottery in this area again.

The return of the two Sharks players mean that Chiliboy Ralepelle is likely to start from the bench behind captain John Smit, in his 100th Test match, and that Gürthro Steenkamp, possibly the Springbok forward of the season thus far, will start at loosehead.

The only other talking point, if you could call it that, is whether to play the youthful exuberance of Francois Hougaard at scrumhalf, or continue to lumber with an off-form Ricky Januarie. No guesses which one is favoured around the country.


  • Christie - 2010-08-12 10:24

    How on earth are we going to cross the tryline with back like De Jongh an de Villiers? De Jongh is solid in defence and support but my word!! De Villiers, well his form showed, dispite the fact that he played wing. He missed a lot of tackles. The AB centre pair must be licking there lips. We are in for a hiding of note.

  • @christie - 2010-08-12 10:55

    We have a much better chance of scoring with De Jongh there than meiseiekind. Meisiekind is so one-dimensional and has no vision whatsoever. He didn't gel with Fourie at all and I hope he never wears the No.12 jersey again. de Jongh is lethal on attack and brilliant on defence. Yes, he needs to work on his distribution, but he has far more potential than goldylocks. And I see SARU have made another bungle in the Frans Steyn saga - well done chaps! Keep with the good work.

  • GT - 2010-08-12 10:58

    Christie - have you ever watched a game of rugby? JdJ ripped holes in every defence he has faced this year Aplon at 15 is the best news since Joe Pietersen got injured. Stormers messed up playing aplon at wing in the final.

  • @Christie - 2010-08-12 10:59

    And you will pick who to play??????? Not meisiekin again. Surely others needs an opportunity. De Jongh and De Villiers are a far better option than the out of form Olivier.

  • @ All the Brain Dead - 2010-08-12 11:04

    Judging by the brain dead comments it seems you ladies are suffering from a lack of oxygen (at altitude it tends to happen, ask the blou nul supporters). You can't tell me you'd rather see Krusty Kirchner at fullback and Chip & dale's at 12 again. And Aplon being too small has not prevented him from running through (as in over) most of the so called big boys in rugby. And De Jongh has proven to be Olivier's superior on international level.

  • KaB - 2010-08-12 11:05

    Aplon at Fullback is a better move than playing Kirchner there...he had a great track record during the Super 14 and proved that although he's small, he's still good enough to make an impact at the back! De Jongh is an even better move on PDivvy's part...although De Villiers should be dropped and Habana should be given a stern talking to! Play the guys who are making an impact at Super 14 and Currie Cup levels...they're hungry for the chance to wear the green and gold jersey and will play with their hearts! Liebenberg should also be given a chance - the guy is phenomenal in the front row pack! And...put Hougaard at Scrumhalf...the guy plays like a champion even with that ridiculous hairstyle of his!'s not hard to pick a side that'll make an impact...and I wish they'd stop kicking the ball all the time and play some running rugby...the Stormers played an awesome defence team in the Super 14, why aren't they using these techniques?!? Frankly, I'm more excited for Currie Cup games...far more exciting and the guys are playing good, solid rugby!

  • Bok@megabull - 2010-08-12 11:06

    You are a chop. I'm sorry to say, but you are showing your lack of mentality boet. Didn't the smallest Aussie backline in history make us look like clowns a few weeks ago? Rugby has changed drastically over the past few years and massive backs just don't cut it anymore. de Jongh's defence is unbelievable, better than your meisiekind, that's for sure. With the new laws, you need fit, agile players. Watch these guys next Saturday or go back to your hole you okes call Pretoria.

  • STORMER - 2010-08-12 11:11

    Oh dear, Bulls toasters up in arms again....(Plonkers) At least this means you lot have NOOOOOOOOO excuses when we thrash you on Saturday at Newlands, as it seems most of YOUR Boks will be playing in your Currie Cup Team Saturday.... Meisiekind returning, Potgieter, Kirchner.. @Megatroll - Aplon was big enough at fullback in the S14 mate. When Joe was injured Aplon ROCKED on the away leg in NZ for us...(he also played in a team that thrashed EVERY NZ team in the S14 - so I would give him the benefit of the doubt doncha think?) Die frikkin Post Traumatiese stres simptoom wat jy is....

  • @Megabull - 2010-08-12 11:12

    AA EE players. WTF? To small? Didn't they all play super 14? Was he to small then. Best player for the job? Olivier, Spies, Matfield etc? They out of form but no mention of them that should be dropped. Your comment has no substance so shut up! Aplon is a great attacking fullback and played well in the absence of Pietersen in the Super 14.He is not out of position or to small. At least he got what I call the x factor, unlike ZK aka up and under m@er!De Jongh and De Villiers deserves a chance because again the others before them are out of form. Jake ai ai. Stop living in the past. No doubt he was a good coach but PDV is now the coach. Last year he won everything and I'm sure he'll learned from his mistakes of this year.

  • Appels is great - 2010-08-12 11:14

    Aplon is a great player - far better than 'skop-bedonderd' Kirchner who in my mind is just as stupid as most of the fullbacks the Bulls produce. Can anyone say up-and-under and chase? Aplon's size didn't seem to be a problem in the S14 or any of the tests this year. Jason Robinson was just as small and how many tests did he play for England at fullback? Exactly. I would prefer Frans at fullback - he was fantastic last year, but I would take Aplon over Kirchner any day. As for Juan de Jongh, what rugby have you been watching Megabull? That guy tackles the living crap out of anyone. In fact he is a far better defender than huge Pierre Spies. And he has pace and great feet; when he touches the ball something happens. Jean de Villiers is a very good defender and a far more talented and intelligent rugby player than Wynand Olivier. It is an exciting combination. Let us just hope they don't screw up the backline with the inclusion of fat-ass Januarie...

  • Bull/WP man - 2010-08-12 11:17

    He was brilliant for the Stormers at fullback. they didnt even notice Joe Pieterson was gone when Aplon played. shud be on the wing tho. Go Bokke. and De Jongh is definately with Fourie SA's best centre!

  • Uncle - 2010-08-12 11:21

    Fight in the bear, not bear in the fight...bulls fans are just racist pigs. I'd rather put Aplon at 8 in place of least he tries to tackle.

  • All Black fan - 2010-08-12 11:32

    I don't think Div has a say as to who goes in the team and who does not... buy Aplon on fullback! JP isn't good enough to wipe Aplon shoes so why should Aplon be moved from his spot for a guy that can't play international rugby! It just shows how the WP players gets taken for nothing! And what is Habana still doing in the team? The AB are going to torture you guys!

  • Joe Moore - 2010-08-12 11:33

    Bring back Frik du Preez

  • StormersSupporter - 2010-08-12 11:35

    Comments, once again laughable. While I agree that aplon is better on the wing than he is at full back, due to his size, but he is about 100x better than zane at 15. JdJ has proved himself a great center. You guys want to say that its quota just coz olivier isnt there anymore. Come on!. Jean dv has proved himself useless. Will be better at center, im sure, but not sure if he is the best for the position.

  • Tom - 2010-08-12 11:38

    What do you mean Habana "has been woefully out of form of late"??? Have you seen him on Defence? He has been an absolute machine!!!! He had barely had any chance to get a sniff of the ball on attack, you cant call that "woefully out of form" Out whole team has been dominated in the possesion and so none of out backs have really had any chance to do anything! Except tackle! Where i must admit we have been reallt poor... But Habana has been working harder than most to try do something and has been solid on defence!

  • Kebird - 2010-08-12 11:40

    @Megabull, I'm not following your argument. It is the same Aplon who played against Ma'a Nonu in the S14 and nothing happend. The TOO SMALL argument is BULLsh@t. I believe he and De Jongh will do good

  • gato - 2010-08-12 11:45

    most of the comments concentrate on defence??? that is all we have been doing for the last few tests? at least aplon on fullback brings a bit of a counterattack option (which we have not had since monty played fullback). frans steyn is a good crash ball carrier - he cant beat man on man. de jong is the in form centre. de villiers was the first choice inside centre (before he left for overseas). he was played out of position recently and will not let us down in his best position, centre. at least with these two centres, we have an attacking option (players that can beat their man). our biggest problem is still mccaw and pocock. we need to pick two (02) fetchers to compete for turn over ball and to slow opposition ball down. most tries have been scored recently form turnover ball or from counterattack moves from deep (i.e.fullback of wing attacking from deep)

  • AllBlackRugbyLover - 2010-08-12 11:48

    This is a historic game in our country and it is imperative we at least put up a fight. I think Div is afraid of taking gambles in that the media might crucify him for it. So instead of calling up new players or making selections based on form, he takes what he has and attempts to build a puzzle. This just isn't gonna cut it. The All Blacks are a well oiled machine and they are going to walk over us on our home turf. This quota story must come to an end and players should play if they deserve to. 10 bucks says if we lose this one Div gets sacked...

  • Appies - 2010-08-12 11:50

    Gio speel jy net jou hart uit soos jy altyd maak. Ek sal Saterdag se game kyk want vandat daai Zane moegoe speel kyk ek nie meer springbok rugby nie. Hy is beter met vliee vang met daai oop bek van hom. Bly Frans Steyn is oppad terug. As ek so kyk na die agter-geblewe bulls supporters is ek spyt ek gaan al die pad van die kaap af kom om die toets op loftus te kyk. G'n wonder die hele land lag vir julle en jul gewoontes nie. Goeie spelers wat deur so groep ondersteun word. G'n wonder die wat al ruk lank daar speel gaan na ander provinsies nie. Go WP, Sharks, Lions, Vrystaat, etc!!!

  • TheFox - 2010-08-12 11:51

    Cunning plan by de villiers to stop the AB's running the ball. I think he is hoping they will kick the ball at Aplon because they know he is so suspect. Aplon is very good against average teams.

  • Semloh - 2010-08-12 11:52

    Its amazing how people go on sterotypes. Aplon is a small player but did you ever see him miss/bail out of a tackle in the S14 even against the big Islanders? Yet Spies is twice his size but his tackling let the boks down on the overseas trip.......

  • GC - 2010-08-12 12:06

    any bets on John Smit retiring after his 100th test match?? Chilli our full time hooker and captain................

  • Megabull - 2010-08-12 12:17

    Dream on you dumb wp fans. aplon de jong de villiers january flou burger. NON of them should ever been a Bok. Now with Wynand out you will see the BIG holes in our weerprobeer backline. I am a bigger Bulls fan than a Bok fan right now cause the Boks became the joke of world rugby. For all you plonkers that say de jong is better than Wynand, how many tries did de jong score in the S14? How many did Wynand? 1 for your AA EE de jong and 5 for Wynand. Who made the most tacles in the back line the last 3 games? Wynand and Morne. So dont come talk crap about your $#!t players in the Bok team. A full strength Bulls team would have won 2 out of the 3 last games for the Boks......

  • mickey 411 - 2010-08-12 12:18

    Aplon is the best thing to ever hit South African rugby...whoever thinks he shouldnt be in the team doesnt know thier rugby..Aplon is not a quota player. He was picked beacuse he had an outstanding super 14 and beacuse he ran holes through teams with those magical feet of his. Thats our sevens star...he is far better thn j.p pietersen despite the fact that j.p has more experience than him...aplon must just silence his critics..As for Kirchner, he must go play soccer..He doesnt have pace and cant step to save his life... Why is that most of the skillfull players in the springbok team comes from Westerrn Province? Province players have fantastic stepping ability. lots of pace and they just superr talented e.g juan de jongh, gio aplon, jean de villiers, jacque fourie, the list is endless.. lol

  • Bokbefok - 2010-08-12 12:22

    Has anyone thought of using Doppies Le Grange as a sprinbok centre? even though he is palying in a losing does this man defend and attack, unlike the overated De Villiers and Olivier. It is really such a shame that the coach such a dick because you can see which province this man favors.

  • Sarky - 2010-08-12 12:24

    All I can say is jis...Some people on this site crucify the Bulls for the mishaps of the Boks and for the style PdV wants play. If PdV wants to play a Bulls type of game then you must have the ingredients of the Bulls...meaning, you NEED wings that can chase and put pressure, unlike the wings that is currently in the Bok lineup AND you NEED a fetcher flank such as Brussow or Stegman to compete at the breakdowns. Furthermore, you NEED a good scrummie so your back line doesn't start on the back foot from the word go. Luckily, PdV saw the light at scrummie but failed to do so at the wings and fetcher flank. Before all the Stormers jump on me about Flouw, Stegman outplayed him at the breakdowns in the S14 final, go and have a look again.

  • arnold - 2010-08-12 12:26

    Surely Pat Lambie has to be a consideration.Is by far the most intelligent backline player around and has great ability.Obviously if Aplon is considered, size is not a factor.

  • Bafana - 2010-08-12 12:27

    Lets hope the Bokke can learn how to win international games like the way Bafana does it...France , Now Ghana. Ke Nako Bokke. At least get one point in the tri nations.

  • Dan - 2010-08-12 12:34

    Because some injuries turned up I revised my team: Aplon (15); Spies (14); Kankowski (11) de Jongh (13); deVilliers (12) Steyn (10) Hougaard/Jaco Vermeulen (9) Burger (8) Stegman (6) ; Juan Sm (7) Danie Ros (4) Mattfield (5) Steenkamp(1) Smit/Bismarck (2) CJ vdLinde/du Plessis(3)

  • D - 2010-08-12 12:34

    @ All Black RUgby Lover, 1000 bucks says if we lose every match in this 3N, De Villiers still makes it to and beyond the WC in 2011. Thank God Olivier is out. There are a lot of players who play really well against pretty good teams but that is the limit of their potential, they cannot step it up a notch. He is good at Currie Cup and S14, but has never shone in internationals. When was the last time you saw him break a line (he did once on tour but that was the only one ever). J de J is hopefully our next talent that can step it up and remain on form. Hope he doesnt become an AD Jacobs where he played first season, surprised everyone and got about 8 tries in 8 matches, 2nd season floundered and 3rd season out. Lost form. Spies and Aplons tackling is about the same, but Spies has no excuse being twice the size of everyone else on the field, Aplon being half the size at least tries, he has heart, but you do need some weight behind you to bring down the big boys. I think we're going to be targeted between de Villiers and Steyn at 10 the whole match and then barrel straight down at Aplon, unless they go straight for the kicks to Aplon, as far as I can remember he doesnt really have a boot on him, and then they're going to send 4 or 5 guys after him. I can see a few turnovers and tries for well placed AB kicks to our Full back. I like Aplon but he's going to have to have the game of his life, they will definately target him three different ways Come on boks!!!!

  • david - 2010-08-12 12:49

    Div het lank genoeg agteroor gesit en Jake se 2007 span in die grond gehardloop. Nou begin hy paniekerig word want toe verandering probeer in bring het met jong spelers het dit nie gewerk nie, so nou gaan hy weer terug na ou spelers wat nie vorm het nie. Suid Africa se rugby is nie gevaar nie, dis net Div wat sy oe moet oopmaak en die beste speler vir die posisie te kies en ophou om spelers uit posisie te speel + spelers wat oud en te stadig is vir internasionale rugby. Die wereld beker is amper hier en Div het nie n gameplan het.As ek Div was sal ek my trots gesluk het en geloop het. Hy moet ophou om sy gunstelinge te kies vir sleutel posisies, Ricky, Ruan Pienaar wat hy op loskakel wil speel, en veral Zane wat nie eens vir Namibia moes gespeel het nie. Sit Zane in n verloor span en dan sien jy hoe weg raak hy. As dit nie vir die bulls was nie sy jou hom nie raak gesien het nie.Sien hom skaars daar raak.

  • Grant - 2010-08-12 12:56

    I agree fully with Semloh. Aplon shows he WANTS to be there and gives 1000% everytime. I have seen big boy Spies miss so many tackles this season maybe he should stick to acting. Guys lets get over this provincial bias if a player is good enough and shows the WANT to be there I say play him! I feel a lot of current BOKKE (from all provinces) are currently there just for the paycheque. I am a Sharks fan by the way.

  • STORMER - 2010-08-12 13:03

    @Sarky - Stegmann did not outplay Flo in the S14 final - CRAIG JOUBERT DID....(in fact he outplayed the entire Stormers team)

  • Debbie - 2010-08-12 13:06

    I started reading all the CLEARLY WeePee comments. And then I got nauseous again. They quickly forget they LOST in the S14 final (after having been favorites to win it one point) with their elite team. They have won their Currie Cup matches up to now and after five games are at the top. Big whoop. Their arrogance WILL lead to their downfall and I have a sneaky suspicion they will not be winning this CC either. Regarding the Bokkies... They should replace all the players with WP players, send the rest home and treat us folks to a proper CC season (seeing that we can forget about the Trinations anyway). The Bokke will most definintely trip over their egos then and look even more pathetic than they have up to now. And once again WeerProbeer will be exposed as a team who starts off strong and finishes weak. I NEVER belittle other teams but right now I have had enough of this team's supporters' arrogance. I work with majority Sharks supporters and not once have they been arrogant after beating us. But then again they play rugby and not ego trips.

  • @Megabull - 2010-08-12 13:10

    Ai my ou crunchie......Meisiekind has scored exactly ONE try in international rugby - a solitary ONE. After all the starts he has been given, that just isn't good enough. Sorry. (And frankly I don't give a gin if he scores hundreds more in a Bulls jersey - cos thats all he is, a provincial player)

  • Stephen - 2010-08-12 13:13

    Aplon isn't even the 2nd best fullback in SA! Div must swallow his pride and make up with Frans Steyn, for the good of SA rugby. For the All Blacks, centres, a flyhalf and a no 8 that can tackle, as well as a fetcher are essential. We have none of those. Butch should be picked, purely for the intimidatory factor- he can tacke (Morne Steyn take note). Spies is horribly out of form, and the next tackle he makes this season will be the first. Pick Kanko (At no 8!!!!!!!!!), or Ashley Johnson. Who is going to take on McCaw on the ground? Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel or ANY OTHER ACTUAL FETCHER may be good. It will be the same story on Saturday- the All Blacks will club us like seals, because we can't tackle and have no plan B. All Blacks will win by 15.

  • Megabull - 2010-08-12 13:14

    Oh really no 13? Is that not next to 12? de villiers cant tackle and de jong wont stop Ma'a even if he plays at 13. Mark my words. The AB's are going thru that chanel there cause they know aplon wont be able to stop them. The only reason weerprobeer can defend is beause all their light 5 players are in the backline. At the Boks they dont have that cover and will be exposed

  • Marius - 2010-08-12 13:18

    Once again they are changing where changes are not required and still sit with the main problem that caused us to lose the first 3 tests. No true fetcher at flank. If Brussow, Stegman or Pieter Louw was in the the side, you would have seen the value of Wynand at centre, because he is the only centre in SA that can get over the advantage line, take 2 defenders down with him and immediately present the ball back for the fetcher flank to provide quick go forward ball. The problem was that both Burger and Louw were waiting at centre for someone else to fetch the ball. The same reason why the Stormers lost the S14 final. On that day Wynand was better than de Jongh and Fourie combined, for the exact reasons I have mentioned above

  • @ Blue Babboon (megabull) - 2010-08-12 13:23

    You Blue balled idiot.....WP B-team will thump the BB this week end....crawl back behind the borewors curtail you CHOP!

  • WTF - 2010-08-12 13:24

    Come on guys, this whole WP / Bulls mud throwing is getting old. We asked P Divvy to make some changes, and now he does. We need to score points, ie we need players that are able to act as game breakers. Is it a bold move, yes. It might well backfire too. But at least P Divvy is trying something new. So lets watch and see, and hopefully it works. My money is on Aplon being the Boks player of the match!

  • Megabull - 2010-08-12 13:28

    @ Bok and what did the AB's do to that small Aus backline?

  • Stephen - 2010-08-12 13:28

    Firstly, I am a massive Sharks fan so, maybe a lttle biased but.... What about some new blood in the Bok squad? The form Fullback/Centre/Wing in SA is Pat Lambie- no question. As the saying goes....If you are good enough, you are old enough! The best finisher in SA is Lwazi Mvovo by a country mile. Keegan Daniel is probably the quickest flank in SA ad is a true fetcher. These guys cannot be worse than the has beens/never weres in the current set up. We cannot win the Tri Nations now so why not use this opportunity to blood a whole lot of youngsters?

  • @ Boerseun&Megabul - 2010-08-12 13:29

    U dumb rocks from the north, u are living proof that bergies sleep with pig's. Moffie steyn is almost twice his size and cant tackle his mother.Spies is so pumped up with steriods he cant think.Please retire to the ossewa with u's lekker kort broek 'n klippies.

  • Jakes - 2010-08-12 13:30

    Why don't we just play the full WP team in the first test, then the Sharks (with Frans Steyn) in the 2nd test, and then the Bulls in the 3rd test? I can't stop reading all the unbelievable "clever" comment here. Do you feel good after dropping some crap here, like a dog who crap on the neighbour's front porch? Nobody respond to anybody, nobody sees the big picture, their one braincell just tells them to drop some crap. Sport for morons.

  • Laeveld Springbok - 2010-08-12 13:35

    @CHRISTIE!!!! PLEASE have a look at the following link.... and then take a look at this link... THAT IS HOW YOU CROSS A TRYLINE with these two players!!! and then CHRISTIE and all the de jongh and aplon haters on this forum tell me in your infinite wisdom if you would EVER see Kirchner or Olivier doing what these two "quota" players did in their debut springbok season???? all of you are F$@#ing idiots trying to deny the talent these two players have because of provincial preferences!!!!

  • @megabull and then @bokbefok - 2010-08-12 13:43

    mega, obviously the FH and inside centre made the most tackles, thats where the most tackles are usually made, we actually had a prop make the most tackles, Steenkamp ,burger and Matfield has been working hard i=on defense, Louw also had a good second test, work-rate wise, I do feel that you r biggest problem, and your not the only one, is that you keep referring to the super 14,and to the bulls and stormers, and you have to realize that this is the springbok team, and these are all springbok players, you can judge a player just as you want, but dont judge a player because he played for the stormers... even the biggest bull supporter would tell you that Olivier failed on attack , for the boks! we need someone to create play for the outside backs and to at least get the ball to them, now JDJ and Olivier both are far to selfish to do that, they aren't the creative type either, so JdV IS THE BEST OPTION, as for aplon, I believe he is at his best when cutting the line from the back, he is a dangerous runner, and he is a decent defender,. Zane was kicking ball posession away, and people judged him because we didn't do anything with the ball we had , and he played a big part in that, I also remenber him being to selfish, when he had a man open outside him, they had one man to beat, the player was already committed to tackling zane, but he then cut inside, we lost the ball and a certain 5pointer... hope you will learn to put your provincialism aside . - and to bokbefok, I also saw Doppies as a possible bok centre , he really impressed me in the super14 before he got injured, he is a star player, and has all the qualities we need, being good on defense, attack, strong ball carrier, creative, and just an exciting player... sadly, he probably won't get a chance in our lifetime

  • mike - 2010-08-12 13:54

    I think the suspected team spoken about in this article is a joke, JdV to partner JdJ, lol. Who is gonna tackle then, no Jaque to cover for JdV and Aplon. I think we better just keep the ball in the forwards and hope the AB's don't run at our backs. Morne, please dont pass the ball! Must be the smallest backline a Bok side has ever fielded, and those that think size doesn't matter you all idiots.

  • charl - 2010-08-12 14:03

    Play Olivier and DeVilliers. Remember guys Olivier gets told to crash and there is no way that De Jongh's defence is better than Olivier's. Habana must be dropped because he's ego is writing cheques that he's body cant cash. Drop him bring Gio Aplon in and Zane at Full back.

  • denis - 2010-08-12 14:22

    Aplon and De Jong are not quota players. If they are, then so are quite a number of mostly white senior players - from the "protected Old Boys regardless of current form" quota. When Olivier plays it is irrelevant who is on the wing because he doesn't like to pass - the turning point in the last test was probably towards the end of the first half when he ignored an unmarked 2 man overlap, aced again and lost the ball - downhill from there. Frans Steyn may have the best fullback boot in the world, but also likes to ace too much and not exactly the brightest tactically. But anyway, as long as we persist with Januarie at no 9 it doesn't matter how much attacking flair we have in the backline because they will mostly get the ball at knee or chest height on the back foot.