Coach needs to be careful not to fall into the usual trap of being scared to pick players when they are 'too young'
Curwin Bosch has shown he’s got it.
That X-factor, that talent, that skill – whatever makes a player worthy of wearing the Springbok jersey – he’s got it.
So it will be interesting to see whether Springbok coach Allister Coetzee makes use of him during their Rugby Championship-opener against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
During the team’s first week in PE in preparation for the opening Test, Coetzee showed belief in the 20-year-old, and the Bok mentor said the Boks might need Bosch’s boot in an important match.
Coetzee also added: “Curwin has really done well. He’s a talented guy, whether he’s ready now or not, he’s very talented and will definitely play for South Africa in the future.”
It’s good to see Bosch getting the recognition he deserves from the Bok coach (how can he not?).
But hopefully the ‘future’ is soon as soon as the Boks’ first Rugby Championship Test because, let’s face it, it’s only going to get tougher from here on. So there’s no better time to let the prodigy get a taste of the big stage.
Bosch has been nothing short of outstanding for the Sharks during Super Rugby. He has, more often than not, played a massive part in the Durban-side’s victories. Whether it’s his kicking from hand or from the tee, Bosch knows how to use his boot.
But he’s not just the owner of a pistol boot – he offers so much more. Bosch has the kind of maturity and self-belief one doesn’t see too often in players even a few years older. His passing game is amazing, and he has a seemingly innate ability to identify space, and he sure knows how to exploit it with the boot. He has the vision to see things many can’t.
And, very importantly, he backs himself.
He has just about everything. In fact, the only thing I can see being used against him is that he’s not exactly at the front of the line when it comes to making tackles.
But that is something that can be worked on. No one is born with a monster workrate on defence. Besides, name one other South African flyhalf who drives players back in the tackle, like a Jean-Luc du Preez or an Eben Etzebeth.
The point is, everything else, he’s got.
So one major question now is if Coetzee will use him or, even better, when he will use him? And, if so, where will Bosch be utilised?
Well, judging by what Coetzee said last week from PE, it does appear as if Bosch will get a chance to introduce himself to international rugby quite soon.
“Why not give him an opportunity? His out-of-hand kicking is unbelievable and he can kick to the posts as well. So you never know – you might need Curwin in an important match to do that,” Coetzee said.
That sounds promising – promising enough to assume Coetzee will not fall into the usual trap of being scared to pick players when they are “too young”. Because Bosch might be young, but if you’re good enough, you’re old enough, right?
With the Sharks, he has pulled off very successful stints at both flyhalf and fullback, so where he finds himself, should he get a chance, is not an issue at all. The only issue now is when he will get his chance. Because he sure has proven that he deserves it.