Gio Aplon receives South Africa call-up for autumn internationals

South Africa have named veteran Gio Aplon in their squad for the November internationals, following a six-year absence.

Coach Rassie Erasmus has also opted to include the uncapped trio of wing Sergeal Petersen, centre Ruhan Nel and lock JD Schickerling, who were all impressive in the domestic Currie Cup for losing finalists Western Province on Saturday.

Aplon, now 36, plays his rugby with Toyota Verblitz in Japan, but has extensive experience of playing in France with Grenoble and is set to cover the full-back and wing positions. He has 17 caps for the Boks, the last in 2012.

Prop Trevor Nyakane and lock Lood de Jager also return, after missing the entire 2018 international season so far with injury, while No 8 Duane Vermeulen is available again after being rested for the Rugby Championship.

“It is always good to welcome new players to the Springbok environment and I’m excited to work with Sergeal and JD, I am sure they will bring a lot of energy into the group,” said Erasmus.

“We all know the value experienced players such as Lood, Trevor, and Duane will bring to the squad.”

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The Boks start their tour against England at Twickenham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, when Erasmus will field a home-based selection as the match falls outside of the international window.

It is followed by games against France, Scotland and Wales on consecutive weekends during which Erasmus will be able to select from his full 36-man squad.

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