South Africa’s Gio Aplon and Australia’s George Smith are among the new additions to the Barbarians squad for this month’s matches against Ireland and England.
Smith, the Lyon flank, is one of 5 players from 5 different countries named as the famous invitation club continues its 125th anniversary celebrations.
Head coach Robbie Deans has also added Springbok Aplon (Grenoble), Tonga prop Soane Tonga’uiha (Oyonnax), Uruguay lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega (Castres) and Japan No 8 Ryu Koliniasi Holani (Panasonic Wild Knights) to his squad.
They join up with the likes of Joe Rokocoko, Adam Jones, Alex Cuthbert and Berrick Barnes for the matches against Ireland at Thomond Park on 28 May and an England XV at Twickenham on 31 May.
“A good big player is better than a good small player” is something we have heard before on the rugby landscape in South Africa. Unfortunately, these type of utterances has been heard coming from the National coach, Heyneke Meyer, as well.
Is rugby not supposed to be the one game that people of every shape and size can partake and excell in? Remember when we were young kids, standing around with bare feet all excited about our very first rugby practice? Dividing the players into positions seemed like such a simple task…the fat kids were props, the tall kids were locks, the fast kids were wings. There seemed to be a position suited to every size and shape.
Professional rugby as we know it now has put paid to that philosophy, 15 supreme athletes seem to be the target for coaches. Centers weigh in at the 100kg mark or more, which is bigger and heavier than some of legendary Bok forwards of previous eras. Just this week the Under 18 Academy week was played in Worcester. One of the stand out players for the victorious Western Province Academy team was prop Carlu Sadie who weighs in at 122kg. The fact is, he is not judged on his size or weight, but on his playing ability and it would seem like this youngster has a bright rugby future ahead of him. Obviously when it comes to the position of front row, size is a huge asset, but what about the other positions?
When the next 4 Springboks who are due to head overseas to earn their keep in Euro and Yen depart, it will be the first time since the inception of professional rugby that more Springboks will be playing rugby overseas than in South Africa, it was reported on the weekend.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was again left lamenting crucial mistakes after his team’s 17-22 loss to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday, but he was proud of the effort that his players put into their final tour match.
Veteran DHL WP and DHL Stormers wing/fullback Gio Aplon will further his career abroad at the end of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby season, but two young backline talents have been signed to make up for his departure
Stormers coach, Allister Coetzee, has made 5 changes to his team to take on the Brumbies this weekend. Peter Grant makes his return to the starting 15 to claim his 93rd cap.
The Stormers could lose another frontline player with wing / fullback Gio Aplon linked with a move to France.
This is the 8th and last in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for BACK THREE in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Springbok and Stormers wing Gio Aplon’s preferred destination, if he leaves South African rugby, will be Japan, and not France, as earlier reports had indicated.
Western Province Rugby chief executive Rob Wagner has moved to dismiss reports that Aplon had signed a contract with French team Grenoble.
Springbok and Stormers winger Gio Aplon is set to become the next high-profile South African to head to France after it was revealed he was “close to signing” a contract with French club Grenoble.
Siyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.
It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.
Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu wants to strengthen his squad with one or two Super Rugby players for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
Alister Coetzee has confirmed that Schalk Burger and Juan De Jongh have been sidelined with injury and will miss the opening match against the Bulls.
Finally, we come to the back three, the wings and fullback. The Cape has always produced a plethora of gifted wingbacks and this year it is no exception. Add to the mix the precocious talent of a young Mr Taute, and we have the making of a sublime back three.
Springbok Eben Etzebeth was running at full tilt at the Stormers’ training session in Bellville on Thursday, and is fit to lock the side’s vulnerable scrum in their Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands next week.
The Springboks have called up Stormers flyer Gio Aplon and Bulls forward Dean Greyling to the national squad as injury cover for Zane Kirchner and Coenie Oosthuizen.
The Stormers have lost Gio Aplon and Duane Vermeulen for this weekend’s Round 10 Super Rugby match against the Force in Perth.
The Speedsters, and this is where the Bully boys have helped the Stormers out a bit.
Not a shabby bunch of wingers to boot.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says he wants Gio Aplon to establish himself at wing this season with Joe Pietersen playing fullback.
England lock Courtney Lawes has become the first player at the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be cited after allegedly kneed Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma in the head. Continue reading