Cape Town – Gio Aplon is finished with sevens rugby for now and wants to focus solely on the 15-man game.
Sport24 reports that the Springbok sevens star has been one of Western Province’s top performers in the Currie Cup the last few weeks and is set to wear his team’s No 11 jersey in Saturday’s clash with the Lions at Newlands.
Aplon may be moved to fullback during the second half and still hopes he can make it in the No 15 jersey in the long term.
“I prefer to play fullback, but also enjoy being used in two positions as is the case now. I am also happy to play wing,” said Aplon.
“It went well in sevens rugby, but I now want to concentrate on the 15-man code and would like to win the Currie Cup with WP.”
Aplon, 26, missed this year’s Super14 to concentrate on sevens rugby, but he is now keen to measure himself against the southern hemisphere’s best.
“After last year I did not have much of a desire to play in the Super14, but now that I’m playing well and enjoying myself, I’m looking forward to the challenge of Currie Cup and Super14 rugby again,” he said.
“When I started Super rugby in 2007, I was not the mature player that I am now. I just wanted to run with the ball, but now also have a feel for when the kicking option is on.”
Aplon does not believe his size necessarily has to count against him at Super14 level.
“Look at Matt Giteau, Shane Williams and Christian Cullen. All three brought special skills, but still did their bit on defence,” he said.
“There is a view that one can run over a smaller player, but that is where you have to stand your ground. You have to use your weight effectively.”
While there are still questions about how effective Aplon is at Super14 level, there is no doubt about his ability to make an impact in the Currie Cup.
Meanwhile, South African sevens coach Paul Treu is keen to discuss Aplon’s future with the player and WP senior coach Rassie Erasmus.
“It will be disappointing if I no longer have him available, but I will never stand in a player’s way,” said Treu.
“Gio was superb for us and you don’t easily replace a player of that calibre. I would like to know of his plans in time so that I am able to look for fresh talent. I will make an appointment with Rassie.
“I believe Gio will make it at Super14 level if he is given a fair chance.”Tweet