April, a future star?

Date published: May 30 2016

Garth April's inclusion in the Springbok squad came as a surprise to many supporters but Bok coach Allister Coetzee believes his selection is completely warranted.

April has only eight Super Rugby caps to his name. However, in the wake of Pat Lambie's pre-season injury, April showed his worth at pivot on the Sharks' pre-season tour to France, and those performances caught the Bok coach's attention.

"Garth April showed tremendous composure when he was chucked into the deep end playing against Toulon overseas," said Coetzee.

Coetzee believes April has the potential to be a serious Springbok fly-half contender in the future.

"He is one of those fly-halves who can really take it to the line and he also has a good kicking game," he added.

"It was quite clear that when Garth April started to start for the Sharks he turned the game around.

"His timing on the ball is good and in all fairness he actually organises as well and makes sure that he gets options outside and around him.

"He can manage the game."

Coetzee believes South Africans should not be tentative about blooding young talent.

"One shouldn't be scared to expose your young fly-halves to this level early," he said.

"When New Zealand do it and bring a (Lima) Sopoaga to Ellis Park and they play against the Boks and win the Test, then it’s great for the New Zealanders.

"This boy (April) has got the ability to do it and I was never going to select an overseas-based 10 to be a third-choice fly-half."