Bulls sign veteran wing Aplon
Player feels honoured that coach Jake White wants him to be part of his vision for the team
The Bulls’ buying spree is showing no signs of abating, with former Springbok and Stormers wing Gio Aplon being their latest recruit.
At 37‚ Aplon is long past Test reckoning‚ especially as the Springboks are well stocked from a back-three perspective‚ but Bulls director of rugby Jake White is getting the players he wants for when rugby resumes.
Aplon‚ who played the bulk of his SA domestic rugby for the Stormers and Western Province‚ left SA in 2014 to join Grenoble in France. At the time of his leaving‚ he had represented the Springboks 17 times and scored five tries.
The last of his Tests came against England in Port Elizabeth in 2012. From then on, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer did not seem to be a fan despite Aplon’s consistent performances with the Stormers.
Aplon spent three years at Grenoble before joining Toyota Verblitz in Japan. White worked with Aplon in Japan.
There must be something Aplon has done right in Japan for him to follow White back to Pretoria‚ where he will face competition from Warrick Gelant‚ Cornal Hendricks and Rosko Specman. The three are fleet-footed‚ but Super Rugby is also about depth‚ something the Bulls lacked in some positions.
Aplon is chuffed to be returning to SA: “The Bulls have always been a formidable force in the rugby world. I have always had a great deal of respect for the brand and what it has achieved and I am truly looking forward to running out at Loftus Versfeld.
“Jake has an amazing vision and plan for the team‚ and I am just honoured that he wants me as part of it‚” he said.