CAPE TOWN – Is Curwin Bosch nor Damian Willemse being used at No 10 another example of double standards for black and white players?
Willemse’s situation involves the Springboks, and national duty has been said to be the driving force behind him being used at fullback. And it does make sense.
But what does that mean for Willemse – the former school flyhalf prodigy? What does it mean for his growth as a No 10, especially seeing as he is a raw, yet brilliant, talent?
The public are quick to jump on a mistake the youngster makes, and words like “overrated” are never too far away.
But how’s he supposed to get things right if he doesn’t get enough rehearsals at 10? Something like another player kicking for posts (even if it’s dead in front of goal) or taking charge of tactical kicking also won’t help him.
Again, Robbie Fleck has shed some light on the Rassie-Bok situation, but surely if things aren’t going right at the moment then they should change?
There’s no shortage of talent when it comes to Jean-Luc du Plessis. But until now, he hasn’t exactly got it right, although it’s important to remember that Du Plessis only recently made his way back from a lengthy injury.
Bosch’s situation, on the other hand, has no complexities to consider. It’s simply a ridiculous one.
It’s a situation that implies that not enough is being invested in developing an exciting black talent. It’s a frustrating, absurd situation.
We’re way past the “is he a flyhalf or a fullback?" debate, in fact, it never should have been a debate to start with, and you don’t have to go have a look at his Twitter handle to see that (which is @Curwinbosch10, by the way).
Du Preez has been backed at 10 by his father all season, and it would appear that Bosch – initially moved to fullback to help ease some of the defensive pressure off of him – has had his stay at 15 turn into an extended lease agreement at the Du Preez-run team.
His attacking know-how makes the thought of him becoming yet another talented player chucked to the versatile-player scrapyard a cringeworthy one.
He’s already slowly evaporated from Springbok conversations, so that scrapheap thought, while unpleasant, might not be an exaggeration.
And if Willemse isn’t allowed to settle, he could find his way there, too.
The Sharks need a catalyst at 10 if they’re serious about their running game, and that’s Bosch. And let’s not forget he has a boot so solid it’s not hard to imagine him slotting kicks from the Kings Park parking lot.
Does defensive vulnerability alone count for more than all those things combined?
It shouldn’t. Defence can be worked on and there are a number of different ways they can keep him out of traffic should they wish to do so.
Frankly, the “Bosch is poor defensively” talks have become a convenient pawn to justify keeping Du Preez in the general’s outfit.
The treatment Bosch has been subjected to is unfair, and preventing Willemse from developing into the quality general he can be isn’t any less wrong.
Neither of these players has publicly voiced any issues with regards to not being used at 10, but what player would? And I have to ask: Would two young white flyhalfs be treated like this?