Rugby Championship

Bosch edges closer to Springbok debut

2017-08-15 10:00
Curwin Bosch (Gallo)

Cape Town - With Handre Pollard having been ruled out of Saturday's Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Port Elizabeth, it looks increasingly likely that 20-year-old Curwin Bosch will be handed a Springbok debut. 

Pollard was one of three specialist flyhalves named in Allister Coetzee's squad for the start of the campaign, and his unavailability leaves just Bosch and Elton Jantjies

In June's 3-0 series win over France, Frans Steyn provided the flyhalf cover off the bench, but the bulky utility back was not named in this squad for the early stages of the Championship. 

It means that Coetzee's flyhalf stocks are limited, and while Dillyn Leyds has had some experience in the position in Super Rugby this year, Bosch's versatility would make him an attractive bench option. 

It would cap off some year for the Grey High School product, who took his chance in Super Rugby in the absence of Pat Lambie, who is still coming back from his seemingly never-ending battle with concussion symptoms.

Bosch displayed an exciting attacking ability in 2017 with enterprising distribution, skill and pace the hallmarks of his game. 

He also has a big and, largely, accurate boot and while his defensive efforts have stood out as the major concern, Coetzee obviously thinks he is ready for the big time. 

There are the obvious arguments that Bosch is not ready to make the step up to Test rugby just yet, but a look at recent Springbok history suggests otherwise.

Steyn was just 19 when he made his Bok debut against Ireland back in 2006 and he would go on to win a World Cup the following year. 

Pollard, meanwhile, was 20-years-and-three-months when he debuted in 2014 and he was the Boks' playmaker at the 2015 World Cup. 

Lambie was even younger than Pollard when he made his debut, having just turned 20 on the northern hemisphere tour of 2010. 

If you're good enough, you're old enough. And all three of those players have shown that they are good enough ... and then some. 

Bosch turned 20 in June, and time will tell whether or not he can be mentioned in the same conversation as the likes of Steyn, Pollard and Lambie. 

But it is Jantjies, of course, who will be the main man.  

Now 27 with just 14 Tests to his name, the Lions pivot has all-of-a-sudden become one of the most important figures in this Springbok side. 

Reports out of Port Elizabeth suggest that Pollard has been training well, and a return to full fitness is around the corner. 

Jantjies will want to make sure that, when that time comes, he has made himself indispensable to the Bok cause. 

He was seriously impressive in the France series and had another stellar Super Rugby season, but the Rugby Championship stage will be another matter entirely. 

With Bosch waiting in line, Pollard returning to his best and a young starlet by the name of Damian Willemse currently doing wondrous things in Cape Town, there is suddenly some renewed reason for optimism when talking promising young Springbok flyhalves. 

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