Super Rugby: Has Curwin Bosch’s halo slipped?

Is it weird seeing Curwin Bosch back at 15? Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

There’s a tinge of disappointment when one thinks about the gifted Sharks youngster being shifted back to fullback. But it’s not all bad.

It says much of the impact Curwin Bosch has made in Super Rugby this year that one feels disappointed when he’s picked at fullback.

And that sentiment was keenly felt this week after the 19-year-old Junior Springbok was selected to wear the No 15 jersey against the Bulls at Kings Park on Friday evening.

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When Bosch plays as the last line of defence, one merely considers him a talented youngster making his way to the top.

Yet when he’s playing flyhalf, he’s the gifted teenager able to handle the most severe of pressure.

That’s how the two positions differ in its perceptions.

At 15, you’ve got time and space.

At 10, everything is rushed and snap decision-making important – in other words, a difficult position.

Given that Bosch’s best performances in this campaign have been at flyhalf, it’s no wonder people are excited.

But some average showings for the Junior Springboks at the recently concluded Under-20 World Championships have brought everyone back down to earth to an extent.

It also explains why Sharks coach Robert du Preez has switched Bosch back to the “relative safety” of fullback.

“Curwin has played really well for us at 15 this season,” he said.

“So I think the selection this week works for us.”

Perhaps Du Preez is wise not to make too much of a fuss about it.

In fact, it merely confirms the still untapped talent of Garth April.

The 25-year-old impressed in patches last year (and enough to be included in Allister Coetzee’s first ever Springboks squad) and has done so again in 2017.

“Garth did really well for us against the Stormers (before the international break),” said Du Preez.

“The way he defended and attacked the gainline really stood out for us. I just felt it was justified to reward him by keeping him at flyhalf.”

It’s a perfectly valid argument and one that also protects one of South Africa’s most prized talents from having too put on his young shoulders.

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