He brings something different
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that the way to get the best out of Gio Aplon is to allow him to play his natural game and unleash his X-factor.
The electric outside back is known for his blistering pace and lethal step, but his light frame means that he has not been given too many opportunities to prove himself in his favourite position of fullback.
The Stormers star is used primarily as a wing who covers fullback at Super Rugby level, and only got his chance to impress for the Springboks in Port Elizabeth this weekend because of injuries to Zane Kirchner and Pat Lambie.
Meyer has admitted that he left Aplon out of his original 30-man squad as he felt playing the diminutive speedster would be too much of a risk in his first series in charge, but made it clear that he has been given the chance to express himself fully in the dead rubber on Saturday.
Meyer explained: "We lost two fullbacks in two games and there are three other fullbacks who have been injured playing Super Rugby but I have always rated Gio [Aplon], he brings something different.
"When we started I wanted a more conservative fullback because it was a new team with a lot of youngsters coming in," he said.
"I said to him that he should play the way he has been playing and bring the excitement and x-factor, because there is no use picking him if he has to play a very set gameplan," added the Bok boss.
Aplon's defensive commitment cannot be questioned, but the major concern around selecting him has been his ability to generate momentum in the collisions due to his relatively small size at 1.75m tall and 80 kgs.
However, having picked him in the starting line-up Meyer is keen to see Aplon make the most of his strengths and wants to see what he can do when put in some space against England this weekend rather than restrict him.
"I don't want to put players in boxes and the reason I picked him is because of his strengths, so he is the type of guy that can do something magic from the back - he runs brilliant lines and has got unbelievable feet.
"He has always been a part of our plans and unfortunately we could only pick two guys at fullback in the original 30, but he has looked really great in training," said Meyer.
If the Springbok forwards manage to get the team on the front foot against England, then Aplon could prove devastating at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, and Meyer made it clear that if he is impressive enough then he could make the position his own.
"There is no pecking order with me, if he shows and proves that he is the best fullback then there is no reason why he can't play there going forward, but we have got a lot of talent at 15 and it is great to see the competition for the position," said Meyer.