Bloemfontein - Springbok Sevens speedster Rosko Specman is making a notable impact for the Cheetahs on the Currie Cup scene.
Specman is one of several Springbok Sevens stars playing 15-man rugby this season.
Seabelo Senatla (Stormers) and Kwagga Smith (Lions) have featured regularly during Super Rugby, with the latter expected to feature in the tournament final against the Crusaders in Johannesburg this weekend. Specman has featured alongside sevens team-mates Cecil Afrika, Chris Dry (all Cheetahs) and Ruhan Nel (Western Province) on the domestic scene during the SuperSport Rugby Challenge and Currie Cup.
Specman, who was among the try-scorers during the Cheetahs’ 30-17 win over Western Province last weekend, said it’s been a great experience so far.
“It took me a few games to get used to 15s rugby again. There are differences between sevens and 15s, but last weekend I felt comfortable again,” Specman told MyPlayers. “I’m really enjoying my time at the Cheetahs. When my agent told me that there’s an opportunity to play for them during the Currie Cup, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands as I want to see how far I can go in 15s rugby.
“Sevens is very much my priority, but as a rugby player, you want to give yourself the chance to see how well you can do in both codes. The skills you pick up in sevens rugby gives you a big advantage on the field.
“There’s also a long break until the next World Series campaign, so playing in the Currie Cup keeps one fresh and active.”
It’s an exciting time for the Cheetahs, who have just been added to the PRO14 in Europe along with the Southern Kings.
Specman said the players are excited to feature in the new international competition, which includes clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
“We had a lunch with all players, management and sponsors in Bloemfontein on Wednesday. Everybody’s excited around the new opportunities,” said Specman. “The coaches will prepare two teams for the PRO14 and Currie Cup, but all the players in the squad are looking forward to experiencing something new.”
Specman is also excited to re-join the Springbok Sevens camp after the Currie Cup, especially ahead of their title defence during the 2017-18 World Series. This will be an important period for the team ahead of a busy 2018, which will include the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, USA and the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia.
“Like I said, sevens is still very much top priority for me. It holds a big part in my heart,” said Specman. “After the Currie Cup, I will join the team for a warm-up tournament in Germany last this year as we prepare for an exciting season ahead. We want to do well in all competitions.
“We all have a special brotherhood in the sevens squad, despite our different backgrounds. We respect each other and spend a lot of time together off the field, which helps us get along on and off the field. We also have strong culture and established systems, which inspire the players as a unit.”
Off the field, Specman has goals of finishing his degree in sports management.
“Rugby takes up a lot of my time at the moment, but I want to balance life and dedicate time to my studies again. I want to finish my sports management studies as I want to continue life in sport once I retire from rugby. I’d love to give back to the game one day by coaching and inspiring the youth.”
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