The Vodacom Bulls have already made a few interesting signings this season, but one that raised eyebrows on Wednesday has to be the news that Garth April will arrive at Loftus next week to join Pote Human’s side.
April left the Sharks after finding himself out of Robert du Preez’s plans and has been playing in Japan in the past few months. He has been offered a contract by the Bulls on the condition he passes a medical when he arrives at Loftus. April has been playing for the NTT Shining Arcs in Japan but will fly back to South Africa this weekend with another four Bulls, who will be returning from their Japanese sojourn.
According to Supersport.com’s information, April injured his shoulder in his last match in Japan and therefore the need for a medical, but it seems that he will consult the team doctor, Herman Rossouw, and a specialist on arrival in Pretoria with the initial prognosis at four weeks for the injury.
The Bulls are currently rather thin in the flyhalf department with Marnitz Boshoff injured and only likely to be back in March or April, leaving Handre Pollard, the incumbent, and Manie Libbok as the only two flyhalves in the squad for the Bulls.
At fullback as well, Warrick Gelant and Namibian Divan Rossouw are the two in the squad there, with April equally adept at playing in both positions and challenging for a place in the Super Rugby squad.
Initially though it is believed he will be in the SuperSport Challenge squad for the Blue Bulls, and with no other senior flyhalf available, is likely to feature heavily in that competition.
The Bulls also have their under-21 flyhalf Fiela Boshoff and under-19 Vaughen Isaacs available, although it is likely that Isaacs will be called up to the SA under-20 squad for the Junior World Championships during the season.
They also have SA Schools flyhalf Juan Mostert on their books as well, although none of the above have much senior rugby experience.
April was called up in 2016 for the Springbok squad, but never played for the Boks. He did play one game for the SA A side against the French Barbarians in 2016. He fell out of favour at the Sharks, who preferred Robert du Preez Junior and Curwin Bosch in the Super Rugby squad, and played mostly for the Sharks XV in 2018, featuring only in one game for the Sharks in Super Rugby during the year.
April didn’t renew his contract, choosing to rather play in Japan during the Currie Cup season.