Garth April clears up frosty exit from the Sharks
Cape Town - Former Sharks flyhalf Garth April has shed light on his frosty exit from the Durban-based franchise.
The 27-year-old left the Sharks last year to join the NTT Communications Shining Arcs in Japan.
April struggled for game time at the Sharks and in an exclusive interview with Sport24 he explained his frustrations.
"It was tough playing only once for the Sharks during the 2018 Super Rugby season, but Curwin Bosch and Robert du Preez jnr are wonderful players. I asked the Sharks if I could go to Japan during the Currie Cup and they said, 'No, we are going to need you for Currie Cup.' And I was like, 'Yes, but everyone else is going to Japan (after Super Rugby) so why can't I?'
"And then they just said if I go to Japan then I don't have to come back (to the union). So I said to the COO of the Sharks, 'I would rather head to Japan than stay put because I'm not getting backed at the Sharks anyway!'"
April also acknowledged that Sharks coach Robert du Preez snr is a tough customer to work with.
"Coach Rob's mood changes daily and there is no grey area for him. Sometimes a player doesn't like it when the coach comes straight up to him and says, 'Listen, this is what you are doing wrong.' With Coach Rob, there is no space in-between and it's either right or it's wrong. But I wouldn't say he's one of my least favourite coaches because I played a lot of games under him prior to last season."
April was hoping to play Super Rugby for the Bulls this year, but a shoulder injury put paid to those plans.
"Before the Bulls signed me, my agent told them about my shoulder and that I had injured it playing club rugby in Japan. And they said, 'Okay, we have to do a medical before we sign the contract.' However, I already signed the contract before we did the medical.
"I took the medical and then the specialist said that I have torn my labrum in my shoulder and I need to undergo surgery. (The labrum is a piece of rubbery tissue attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place).
"The injury would keep me out for four to six months and I had signed a six-month contract. It's obviously disappointing, but I’m going to have the surgery and will then do my rehab in Pretoria with the Bulls. They are definitely going to support me through the rehab process."
READ: Garth April's full Q&A interview with Sport24