Cape Town - Utility back Garth April says
his refusal to give up on a professional career paved the way for his recent
rise through the rugby ranks.
April, who can play fullback and flyhalf, has
always dreamed of playing professional rugby.
His determination to achieve this dream
intensified as he was recognised as one of South Africa’s top junior players
when he emerged on the provincial and national age-group scene.
He represented Boland at Under-16 and Under-18
level, before the Lions offered him the opportunity to be based in Johannesburg
on a three-year contract.
He represented the Gauteng union at Under-18,
Under-19, Under-21 and Vodacom Cup levels between 2009 and 2012. During this
time, he was also selected for the SA Schools and SA Under-18 High Performance
April then returned to Boland in 2013,
where he played four Vodacom Cup games before suffering a serious knee injury.
He was sidelined for the rest of the season, and released from his provincial
contract in 2014.
While many professional rugby players would
look for an alternative career at this stage, April refused to give up on his
He enjoyed a full recovery and joined Durbanville-Bellville,
a rugby club based in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. He helped the team
excel during the 2014 season, which saw them qualify for the Community Cup.
This is where April, 23, created his second
chance of securing professional career.
He was a star performer throughout the
tournament, and excelled during the playoffs over the Easter Weekend, playing a
leading role during Durbell’s run to the Community Cup title. He was rewarded
with the Young Player of the Tournament accolade, but he received the big prize
the following Sunday.
“I received the call from the team manager
at Western Province, and they invited me to train with the Vodacom Cup squad
that next Monday. It’s a moment I’ll never forget!” April told MyPlayers.co.za.
“It felt unreal. One moment I was playing
for Durbell, the next moment I’m training with Western Province, which is a
team I’ve always wanted to play for, ever since I was a kid. A few days later,
I was told I’m going to start against Border.
“This made me realise… if you really want
to play professional rugby, and you have the hunger, discipline and
determination... you’ll make it if you make the effort. I’ve been through some
tough times, but I’ll never stop giving my all to make this work.”
April made his debut for Western Province
during their 34-6 victory over Border. He impressed in the No 15 jersey, and
managed to score a try.
“I enjoyed the game. Scoring the try was
definitely a match highlight for me,” said April. “But now the hard work
begins. My provincial future is not yet secured. I’m hoping to use the Vodacom
Cup as a stage to show what I’m capable of at provincial level.
“It would be a dream come true if I can
secure a contract with Western Province. Obviously, I’d have to work hard and
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