April loses Bulls contract offer after failed medical

    2019-02-06 18:34

    Brenden Nel -

    Pretoria - The Bulls will not be signing former Sharks flyhalf Garth April for the upcoming season after he failed his medical at the franchise.

    April, who has returned from playing in Japan for the NTT Shining Arcs, underwent the medical earlier this week and was told the bad news that prompted the Bulls to withdraw the offer they made for him to join the team.

    The medical found that April injured his shoulder four weeks ago in a game for his Japanese club and according to the specialist diagnosis in Pretoria, meant he will be on the sidelines for four to six months, making his participation in both the SuperSport Challenge and Super Rugby moot because of the injury.

    The diagnosis found that April needs shoulder surgery to correct the injury and therefore would not be able to play.

    The move is a blow for the Bulls, who lined April up as cover after Springbok Marnitz Boshoff was injured last season and should be out until end of March.

    With this in mind they have only first choice Springbok Handre Pollard and his backup Manie Libbok to count on for Super Rugby this season and if they pick up an injury, will be severely tested.

    Tinus de Beer has signed for Griquas and will be in Kimberley while Tony Jantjies has left the union and is plying his trade in Europe.

    At fullback as well, Warrick Gelant and Namibian Divan Rossouw are the two in the squad there and April was hoping to be cover there as well.

    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, but 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 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.

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