Rassie confirms Aplon will be part of Bok squad

Gio Aplon (File)
Gio Aplon (File)

Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that Gio Aplon will be part of the squad that travels to the northern hemisphere for four Tests in November.

Speaking from the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Friday, the Bok boss explained that the decision to call up Aplon was based on the fact that there were "not a lot of wise heads" in the back three positions. 

Willie le Roux will not be involved in all of the four Test matches because of an arrangement between SA Rugby and his club, Wasps, and all of the overseas-based Boks will miss the November 3 clash against England as it falls out of World Rugby's international window.

That would make Damian Willemse the favourite to wear the No 15 jersey in that match, but listening to Erasmus speaking on Friday, it appears Aplon could feature too.

"A guy like Damian will definitely get his chance over there and Willie will be available for some of the games," said Erasmus.

"But you've got an experienced guy who has played in France and has a great left foot and who is playing brilliant rugby at this stage and who can help.

"I know Aphiwe (Dyantyi) is doing well and S'bu (Nkosi) is doing well, but there are not a lot of old heads around them in terms of helping the back three.

"I might be wrong in terms of that team selection, but I think he is a good fit in terms of leadership and rubbing shoulders with some of the younger guy."

Aplon, now 36, played the last of his 17 Tests in 2012.

The Boks tackle England (London, November 3), France (Paris, November 10), Scotland (Edinburgh, November 17) and Wales (Cardiff, November 24) on their tour.

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