‘Rough diamond’ April gets Bok recognition

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The 24-year-old Wellington resident set the field alight this year for the Sharks in Super Rugby, a dramatic reversal of fortune after playing club rugby only a year ago.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee is said to have selected April for his composure at pre-season matches against French giants Toulouse and his form during Super Rugby.

Yesterday, his parents Jeff and Angeline expressed pride in the youngest of their four boys.

“I called him my little Springbok as he was always an avid athlete and rugby player growing up. He played at junior level and we knew he was meant for even higher honours,” said his mother, adding that the road was not easy for him.

Older brother Brendan, a rugby player himself, said that after Garth’s disappointing spell in Johannesburg, he took him to Durbell Rugby Club, where he initially found the going tough.

“After rehab, he had some fear when he returned to the field, but with hard work and determination he got back to his best,” he said.

Durbell coach Bobby Joubert, who was assistant coach during April’s time there, said: “We are extremely proud of his achievement, and it’s a testament not only to his hard work but the club structures and support staff during his injury recovery.”

Former Wellington Roses coach Francois Davids, now an SA Rugby Union executive board member, said he was not surprised by April’s selection. He described him as a “rough diamond”.

“He always had the heart and intelligence to play at the highest level, which is why we selected him as a 16-year-old to play in our first team.”

The national team begin preparations today for their first Test against the Irish on June 11 at Newlands. - Cape Times

Original source: ‘Rough diamond’ April gets Bok recognition

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