Sharks win race for Bosch’s signature

2015-11-11 06:00
PHOTO: gallo images The Sharks have secured the services of SA Schools and Grey High School flyhalf Curwin Bosch. The 18-year-old, seen here taking on KZN in this year’s U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, has signed a two-year-contract.

PHOTO: gallo images The Sharks have secured the services of SA Schools and Grey High School flyhalf Curwin Bosch. The 18-year-old, seen here taking on KZN in this year’s U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, has signed a two-year-contract.

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THERE are still more than 40 shopping days to Christmas but the Sharks’ minds are back on rugby and they will return to the training pitch on Thursday to start their Super Rugby pre-season preparations.

Most of the big names will still be missing­ with the World Cup Springboks recovering from their ordeals on and off the field in England, and half-a-dozen contracted players now involved with clubs in Japan and only due to return to Durban at the end of January.

The Sharks have been under fire, particularly on social media, following their press release that they had signed Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle without making any mention that he is still serving a two-year ban for steroid use and will miss the opening two months of Super Rugby.

World Rugby confirmed last month that the 28-year-old had been suspended for two years after testing positive for a metabolite­ of an anabolic steroid, drostanolone, in an out-of-competition doping control test on 19 March, 2014, while playing club rugby for French club Toulouse.

He was recovering from an operation on an anterior cruciate ligament following a knee injury.

On a happier note, the Sharks have beaten off stiff opposition to sign the prodigiously-talented Curwin Bosch, the 18-year-old Grey High and SA Schools flyhalf, on a two-year contract.

“It was a difficult decision for me, but I just felt the Sharks will give me better opportunities,” he told the Port Elizabeth media.

Bosch, who has all the natural attributes, has played SA Schools for the last two years - at fullback and flyhalf - and negotiations with the Sharks, and all the other major unions, have been continuing for months.

A Sunday newspaper reported that the young player will receive R350 000 a year and a vehicle in addition to his signing-on fee for the Sharks, but he refuted this.

“I was surprised when I saw that figure in the newspaper and I don’t think it’s fitting to talk about those things in the media,” he says.

Still, Bosch has set his sights high and, in spite of his tender age, is already talking about playing at senior level.

He will join the Sharks training squad after his matric examinations at the end of the month, and well ahead of the other U19 players, and he says one of his goals for 2016 is to win a Super Rugby cap.

He has already spent time with the Sharks earlier this year.

“I was flown to Durban and trained with the Sharks and knew that was the place for me. I did not have to fit in.”

He spent time with Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie at King’s Park.

“He is a great person and even better rugby player,” says Bosch.

Bok centre Gcobani Bobo watched him at Craven Week this year and compared him to Dan Carter at a similar age.

“He is just so polished and so composed under pressure,” Bobo said.

While there is no confirmation from the Sharks, reports in Cape Town indicate that the 23-year-old Western Province and Stormers lock Ruan Botha is to move to Durban.

A Cape Town daily reported that Botha was in the final stages of negotiating a release from the union with a view to signing for the Sharks.

If Botha does move to Durban, it would be regarded as something of a tit-for-tat signing after Western Province persuaded talented young Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit to leave the Sharks in August and move to Cape Town.

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