Garth Graham April (born 16 July 1991 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a South African rugby union player who most recently played for the NTT Communications Shining Arcs in the Top League in Japan. His regular position is fullback, but he can also play as a fly-half or centre.
|Full name||Garth Graham April|
|Date of birth||16 July 1991|
|Place of birth||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (12 st 8 lb; 176 lb)|
|School||Hoërskool Florida, Roodepoort|
|Notable relative(s)||Brendon April (brother)|
|Rugby union career|
He grew up in the Western Cape and earned his first provincial call-up in 2007, when he represented Boland in the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week competition. In 2008, he was selected to play for them in the premier high school rugby union competition in South Africa, the Under-18 Craven Week held in Pretoria. He was also selected in an Under-18 Elite squad and eventually the South African Schools side in the same year.
He moved to Gauteng in 2009 where he finished his schooling at Hoërskool Florida in Roodepoort. He once again played at the Craven Week tournament, this time representing the Golden Lions in the 2009 edition held in Welkom and was included in a South African Under-18 High Performance squad later in the same year. He was also included in the Golden Lions U19 squad for the 2009 Under-19 Provincial Championship.
After finishing school, he joined the Golden Lions on a three-year contract and once again played for the Golden Lions U19s in the Under-19 Provincial Championship in 2010. He moved up an age group and represented the Golden Lions U21s in the 2011 Under-21 Provincial Championship, although his game-time was limited, just making two appearances from the bench.
In 2012, he was included in the Golden Lions' squad for the 2012 Vodacom Cup. He made his first class debut in their match against the Leopards in Potchefstroom, starting their 16–23 defeat in the opening round of the competition. He also started their 10–49 defeat to trans-Jukskei River rivals the Blue Bulls in Pretoria. His third appearance for the Golden Lions was in their match against Griquas in Kimberley; he played off the bench in the first half and scored the decisive try (his first in senior rugby) thirteen minutes from the end to help his side to a 35–30 victory to hand Griquas their only defeat of the regular season. April also played in the 33–37 loss to the Pumas in Johannesburg as his side finished in fourth spot to qualify for the quarter finals. He scored a late try in the quarter final against Western Province, but it ended up being a mere consolation try, with Western Province advancing to the semi-finals by winning the match 58–34. In the latter half of the year, April represented the Golden Lions U21s in the 2012 Under-21 Provincial Championship, establishing himself as their first-choice fullback, starting in that position on eight occasions. He scored five tries and fourteen points with the boot to end the campaign as the Golden Lions' second-highest point scorer behind regular kicker Marais Schmidt.
April wasn't retained by the Golden Lions after the 2012 and he returned to the Western Cape to join the team he represented at youth level, the Boland Cavaliers. He made four appearances for them during the 2013 Vodacom Cup competition, scoring four points, and twice during the 2014 Vodacom Cup competition. However, a serious knee injury curtailed his progress at Boland and he was released at the end of 2014.
Durbanville-Bellville / Western Province
He joined Western Province amateur club side Durbanville-Bellville, who finished fourth in the Western Province Super League A and won through a series of play-offs to qualify for the 2015 SARU Community Cup. He played in all seven of their matches during the competition and helped his side all the way to the final, despite being the last team to qualify. His contributions proved decisive in the final against hosts and defending champions Rustenburg Impala, scoring Durbanville-Bellville's opening try of the match and kicking two conversions and two penalties for a personal haul of 15 points in their 31–30 victory, to secure the title for his side for the first time. After the competition, April was also named as the Young Player of the Tournament.
This also earned him another provincial call-up, with Western Province including him in their squad for the 2015 Vodacom Cup. He made his debut for Western Province in their Round Four match against the Border Bulldogs and took just 25 to score his first try in Western Province colours, setting them on their way to a 34–6 win.
On 28 May 2016, April was included in a 31-man South Africa squad for their three-test match series against a touring Ireland team. After training with the national team for a few days, he joined the South Africa 'A' squad for their two-match series against a touring England Saxons team. He was named in the starting line-up for their first match in Bloemfontein and opened the scoring for his team by converting a penalty in the tenth minute of the match, but ended on the losing side as the visitors ran out 32–24 winners.
He is the younger brother of rugby player Brendon April.
- "SA Rugby Player Profile – Garth April". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "Garth April: Product Of Perseverance". MyPlayers Fans. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – Leopards 23-16 MTN Golden Lions". South African Rugby Union. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – Vodacom Blue Bulls 49-10 MTN Golden Lions". South African Rugby Union. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – GWK Griquas 30-35 MTN Golden Lions". South African Rugby Union. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – MTN Golden Lions 33-37 Ford Pumas". South African Rugby Union. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Western Province 58-34 MTN Golden Lions". South African Rugby Union. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "SA Rugby Top Scorers – 2012 ABSA Under 21 Competition". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- "It's April time for DHL WP". Western Province. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Western Province 34-6 Border Bulldogs". South African Rugby Union. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "Jordaan returns to action". Sharks Rugby. 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- "Squad of 31 ushers in new era of Springbok rugby". South African Rugby Union. 28 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Ackermann to coach SA 'A' against Saxons". South African Rugby Union. 28 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Youth and experience for SA 'A' opener against Saxons". South African Rugby Union. 8 June 2016. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa "A" 24-32 England Saxons". South African Rugby Union. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "Garth in noppies oor Boland-trui". Son (in Afrikaans). 6 February 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Beyond teammates". South African Rugby Union. p. 18. Retrieved 30 April 2015.