Cape Town – Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers believes Sharks playmaker Curwin Bosch is an exceptional talent who should be managed properly.
The 19-year-old has taken the rugby world by storm with his performances for the Sharks in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
De Villiers, who coached the Springboks between 2008 and 2011, expressed his views on Bosch via a column for Kwese Sports.
De Villiers believes Bosch is a player with “x-factor and flair”, but has called on Bosch’s coaches to allow him the “freedom to express” himself on the park.
De Villiers used former Springbok utility back Brent Russell as an example of a player who never reached his full potential because of being forced to follow a certain game style.
“Russell had an extraordinary ability as a rugby player to beat defenders with his pace off the mark and stepping ability. But some coaches tried to change his attacking nature to fit into the South African way of playing. Unfortunately it didn’t work out…” De Villiers wrote.
Bosch has shown himself to be equally adept at fullback and flyhalf, but De Villiers called for the player to be utilised in one position.
“Curwin Bosch has more rugby ability in his DNA than many coaches and players put together. Because such a talented player is so rare, he is tricky to work with and very difficult to coach,” De Villiers continued.
“These ‘once-in-a-generation’ talents can play anywhere, in any position, and will do better than most of the players. But they should be destined for one position, and one position only.
“Do not let us walk the same bumpy road with Bosch as we did with natural talents like Russell, Francois Steyn and others, making them fill in where we have a problem or a hole to fill.”
De Villiers called for Bosch to receive the best support structures possible.
“This kid will bring South African rugby fans so much joy over the next decade if he is properly managed, because he already has the maturity at a such young age. He is truly FAT player. Faithful, Available and Teachable…”
As Springbok coach, De Villiers won the 2009 Tri-Nations, as well as a series win over the British and Irish Lions that same year.
During his tenure, he boasted five wins out of 11 Tests against the All Blacks – a better record than most Bok coaches in recent times.
De Villiers was the director of rugby at the University of the Western Cape between 2012 and 2015, but has since struggled to find work in rugby.