‘Specmagic’ is no illusion: Rosko Specman has made a seamless transition to XV’s
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JOHANNESBURG - Sevens stars making the transition to XVs has become a trend recently, although the shift has come with varying degrees of success. But for Rosko Specman, it’s been seamless.
The Bulls speed merchant has been an absolute sensation, showing his potency on the domestic front. And now, the 32-year-old is a Springbok contender.
Over the weekend, South African media reported that Specman – who featured for the Cheetahs in a hit-out against an Invitational XV on Saturday – is in line to be included in the 45-man Springbok squad to be announced on Saturday and will begin a loan spell with the Stormers for the remainder of the Rainbow Cup SA to help him be match ready for the British & Irish Lions Series.
With the Cheetahs having been dropped from the Rainbow Cup, the speedster hasn’t played a helluva lot of rugby recently, and the chance to produce more eye-catching performances will certainly work in his favour to get the national nod, at least for the South Africa ‘A’ side on July 14.
He’s been in excellent form since focusing on his Fifteens ambitions, producing superb performances for the Bulls before moving to the Cheetahs, so much so that he formed part of one of the Boks’ alignment camps.
Specman is one of more than a handful of Sevens stalwarts who have crossed over with the hopes of reaching the highest honours in the ‘expanded’ game.
Guys like Seabelo Senatla, Werner Kok, Stedman Gans,
Ruhan Nel, and Kurt-Lee Arendse are some of the Sevens converts, and while we have seen some electrifying performances from some of them, not everybody has brought the magic to Fifteens with the same ease. Specman, though, has been a stunning revelation.
Now, the Boks sure have serious firepower out wide.
Cheslin Kolbe is arguably the best player in the world (you’ll need some serious arguments to prove that he’s not), Makazole Mapimpi can feel confident that he has the No 11 berth locked down, and then there is also Sbu Nkosi, a player who would probably make the starting line-up for any other national team. So, the Boks are loaded at wing.
But Specman has done enough to be rewarded with inclusion in the SA ‘A’ side, at the very least, and that game can be his stage to show us some more of that magic, the magic that has entranced us over the last two years.
Again, the Boks have no shortage of high, high quality wingers, but Specman’s abilities – that speed, stepping repertoire and remarkable finishing abilities – are just some of the things that can help him all the way to the try line to perform his superman-dive for the Boks.
Sure, there is a clear pecking order, and for good reason, considering what the likes of
Kolbe and Mapimpi have done for the Boks. But ‘Specmagic’ should at least play some kind of role. After all, his productions have been magical, and his quality is no illusion.