The country is in the midst of vicious debate about the Springbok flyhalf‚ but Curwin Bosch’s name has all but disappeared from this conversation.
A lot of it has to do with decisions beyond the 21-year-old’s control. The fact that Bosch is multi-skilled and hugely talented is not in doubt, but he finds himself in the difficult position of playing for a team whose coach‚ Robert du Preez‚ has a namesake son who plays flyhalf.
Whether thisis a clearly thought-out rugby decision that will be beneficial for the game in SA in the long run remains to be seen but Bosch’s posting to fullback removes him from the flyhalf debate in the interim.
Doubts linger over Bosch’s defensive solidity at No 10 but Robert du Preez junior has not set the scene alight‚ while Bok incumbents Handré Pollard and Elton Jantjies have incurred the wrath of SA rugby supporters for their indifferent showings.
Perhaps being out of the spotlight has been a blessing for Bosch‚ who says he is starting to find the fun that has been missing from his game. His focus remains on ensuring the Sharks right the wrongs of 2017’s loss in the Currie Cup final against Western Province.
"All of us want to play for the Springboks but the most important thing for me now is for the Sharks to do well in the Currie Cup and me just enjoying my rugby‚" Bosch said. "I play my best rugby when I’m enjoying it. I think I lost a bit of that towards the end of the Super Rugby campaign. The big emphasis on myself is to enjoy my rugby again."
Signs of Bosch enjoying his rugby were evident in the Sharks’ 26-10 win against the Bulls at Kings Park last Saturday. Bosch’s tactical sharpness led the way for the Sharks at the back but there is the arrival of another Eastern Cape starlet in Aphelele Fassi.
Like Bosch‚ Fassi was an accomplished inside back at Dale College in King William’s Town but the move to senior rugby has allowed him to make a name for himself at wing. His inclusion not only helps the Sharks from a depth perspective‚ but his experience and excitement as a fullback/flyhalf could also come in handy should Du Preez and Bosch disappear due to injury or a Bok call-up.
Bosch’s focus has now moved to the Currie Cup clash against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday but he also marvelled at the talent that is Fassi.
"There’s always the potential of the Cheetahs fielding a weakened side against us and we’re well aware of that‚" Bosch said. "We’ve mentioned that to the players but it’s important for us to stick to what we want to do and want to achieve as a team in the competition. There’s no time for a good and a bad performance in this competition so it’s important for us to focus on what we want to do."