Battle for No.10

2018-02-09 11:08
Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch looks forward to healthy rivalry for places in the team for the upcoming Super Rugby season.

Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch looks forward to healthy rivalry for places in the team for the upcoming Super Rugby season. (Gallo Images)

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The Sharks have come through solid planning for the start of Super Rugby next week, highlighted by convincing wins in friendly matches in Hong Kong and Polokwane, and the squad’s health is further underlined by fans eagerly waiting to see who will wear the crucial No. 10 jersey in the team.

Coach Robert du Preez’s men start their campaign against the much-feared Lions in Johannesburg next Saturday, following spirit-boosting preparation clashes with French club Racing 92 in Asia and one of their rivals in Super Rugby, the rebuilding Bulls, in Polokwane over the past fortnight.

Now, as they fine-tune their preparations in Durban with a combination of tried-and-trusted men and impressive new signings, the supporters will be excited, in particular, about a flyhalf poser between young Curwin Bosch and Robert du Preez jr — one of the recruits.

Before the Durban franchise brought in Du Preez junior from Western Province during the off-season, Bosch was their No. 1 choice for the flyhalf berth and he did a stellar job for the side while also being able to play in the fullback position.

Bosch’s exploits with the boot saw him going on to become a Springbok at the young age of 20.

Good things can also be said about new man Du Preez jr, who was very instrumental in Western Province’s success in the Currie Cup last year — including a final win against the Sharks on their own patch.

Bosch says he is happy to have Du Preez jr in the squad this season because it provides a healthy selection rivalry and also gives him a chance to learn from the 24-year-old son of the head coach.

“It’s great I think for the Sharks as a union to have two young flyhalves who are up and coming. I see it more as a learning experience for me. I try to learn from everyone as much as I can, especially Rob who has been around and played for the Barbarians and all that,” said Bosch, without seemingly fearing a drop to the bench.

“I can learn something new from him and he can learn something new from me. So that’s great and the competition is very healthy, there’s no sort of thing here that I want to be better than him.

“Of course, everyone wants to start, everyone wants the No. 10 jersey, but at the end of the day it what’s best for the team and just us learning from each other.”

Bosch believes the Sharks have managed to tick all the boxes during their preparations for Super Rugby.

He said their two warm-up games, against the Bulls and Racing, had given people an indication of what they could expect in Super Rugby. “I think the Bulls game was more of a running game; they put together a very running type of side to play against us. And for the Racing game, they had very big guys and that just prepared us for the physical battle that’s going to come when we play the Lions in our first game,” he said.

“I think in the past two weeks we have been doing what we wanted to do and ticking the boxes that we wanted to tick, instead of worrying about what the opposition do.

“I think we did well in that regard and we made progress and got better as a team, so we are looking forward to next week. It should be a cracker of a game.”

Coach Du Preez sr will have all but the injured trio of Coenie Oosthuizen, Jean-Luc du Preez and Louis Schreuder available when he makes his player selections for the Lions trip.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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