Exclusive: EP Kings flyhalf, Karlo Aspeling talks about rugby and life
Eastern Province Kings head coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has named his team who will be facing the Steval Pumas in their ABSA Currie Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this evening.
He has made three changes to the team that faced the Cell C Sharks at Kings Park last weekend.
Centre, Ronnie Cooke will be returning to the starting line-up at outside centre, with JP du Plessis moving to inside centre, due to Tim Whitehead being ruled out with a concussion andflyhalf George Whitehead, on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Karlo Aspeling has been placed at flyhalf, while Jacques Engelbrecht will replace Stefan Willemse, who has been placed on the bench.
Aspeling, who will be making his first start for the Kings this Friday, spoke to RNews about his rugby career and how it has been for him since joining the Kings three months ago.
RNews: How does it feel to be back in Port Elizabeth?
KA: “It’s always nice coming back to the Bay, I have missed it a lot. I have travelled a bit, but I have always felt that Port Elizabeth is my second home, from George. PE just has a different vibe about it and I just glad to be back here.
RNews: How does the Currie Cup Premier division compare to the first division?
KA: The physicality of the game is the same, but the game is faster, so you have to make decisions faster on the field, especially at flyhalf. You have to be on the money the entire time, there is definitely a difference.”
RNews: How is the Kings camp treating you?
KA: “Since I started at the Kings, everyone in the Kings camp has been very nice to me, they made me feel welcome from day one and have looked after me.”
RNews: What can you tell us about yourself, that not many people might know?
KA: I’m a very chilled guy. I’m actually a very shy person, people don’t really know that. I don’t like to be in the spotlight too much. I’m the type of guy who enjoys a good braai with my friends and family.”
RNews: Do you have any other hobbies?
KA: I play golf, but I haven’t played in a while because I broke my finger in Italy, so I can’t bend the finger properly, so I’m struggling with the grip, but I am making my comeback to the golf course next weekend with a few mates of mine and I’m looking forward to that.
“I’m also playing tennis quite a bit since I have been back. It’s a nice way to relax and do something other than rugby.”
RNews: What are your feelings to the upcoming game against the Pumas?
KA: It’s a big privilege and honour to get my first start for the Kings franchise. I have waited a while. I’m looking forward to it.
“The Pumas are a physical pack, and I think that we have to play in the right areas, play in their half. They have a strong team and we have to be clinical there.”
“But I am very confident in the preparation this week. We have trained very well and took a lot of positives out of the Sharks game and we are looking for a win this weekend. It’s a home ground game and hopefully people will come out and support us.”
RNews: How does the hype in the camp feel before a match?
KA: “The week build up starts from the Thursday, then you start to get the butterflies, get hyped up and visualise your game.”
“I personally don’t like to stress myself too much. It’s good to have some nerves, but if you are worrying the entire week, you will exhaust yourself. My hyping starts when I am driving to the field and that’s when I know its game time.”
RNews: What would you tell someone who wants to get into professional rugby?
KA: Never give up, I have been playing out of school rugby since 2006, club rugby for four years now and I have had one of the most up and down roads compared to others. I have travelled quite a bit, but I wouldn’t change it because it has built me as a person, it has made me stronger.”
Aspeling also said that he is very appreciating of all the support he has received from friends and family.
“My grandparents have supported me through this and stood by my side and have never given up on the dream I have had. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be sitting here today, so I just want to thank them for getting me here. It’s fulfilling for me to run onto that field and giving something back to them for all their hard work and effort. I just want to make them proud,” he said.
He is also currently studying part time through UNISA, and is in his third year BEd (Education) intermediate phase.
Flyhalf; Fullback; Centre
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division - 2015
Absa Currie Cup Qualifying - 2015
Absa Currie Cup First Division - 2014
Absa Currie Cup Qualifiers - 2014
Vodacom Cup - 2014
Absa Currie Cup First Division - 2013
Vodacom Cup - 2013
ABSA Currie Cup First Div - 2012
FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International - 2012
ABSA Under 19 Competition - 2006
ABSA Under 21 Competition - 2006
Photo caption: JP Du Plessis and Karlo Aspeling. IMAGE supplied by Karlo Aspeling's Facebook page.
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