New Bulls boss Jake White has signed ex-Springbok utility back Gio Aplon from Toyota Verblitz, the club the coach himself left to head home to South Africa. The 37-year-old, who was last capped in 2012, forged his career at the Stormers before heading to French club Grenoble in 2014. 

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“The Vodacom Bulls have always been a formidable force in the rugby world,” said Aplon in a tweet on the club’s social media page following his signing. 

“I have always had a great deal of respect for the brand and what it has achieved, and I’m truly looking forward to running out at Loftus. Coach Jake has an amazing vision and plan for the team, and I am just honoured that he wants me as part of it. I look forward to making the #BullsFamily proud.”

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Verblitz had been breaking even in the Japan Top League before the season was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, White’s side winning three of its six matches. Aplon was only used in one of those games, a February win over Kubota. 

While will hope the veteran’s experience will benefit the team and he will also want Aplon assisting the further development of the club’s younger outside backs.

Aplon’s signing is further indication of the change ongoing at the Bulls, who recently released coach Pote Human and installed a new CEO, Edgar Rathbone, to succeed Alfons Meyer. 

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