Marcelo Bosch felt “sadness and pain” at missing Argentina’s World quarter-final as he served a one week ban for a dangerous tackle and knows he must stay calm for Sunday’s semi-final against Australia.
The 31-year-old has played a key role in the Pumas’ rise in the sport.
Nerves jangled in the Argentina camp when Bosch was suspended before the quarter-final even though they proved groundless as they went on to beat Six Nations champions Ireland 43-20.
“I have to control the anxiety,” Bosch said ahead of Argentina’s second appearance in the World Cup semi-finals.
“It’s the biggest game of my life and the height of my career. I must not get too crazy and get ahead of myself. I have to be as calm as possible.”
The Saracens star, who comes back in place of Matthias Moroni in the only change to the Argentina side, was punished for a spear tackle against Namibia in their last pool game.
“It was a tough week,” Bosch said of his suspension.
“It was going to be a dream to play against Ireland in the Millennium stadium after so much effort to get to that game.
“There were moments of sadness and pain during that week. I’m happy and excited about what the boys did on the pitch against Ireland. But I felt as though I had failed myself.”
Bosch said “its tense when you are playing, but you are just as nervous watching from the side. The boys were so good that day.”
Bosch, who could be in his last game for the Pumas if they lose, praised the support of his wife, Augustina Ipina, in helping him through the stress of the suspension.
The couple’s twin boys were only born in July when Bosch was on Rugby Championship duty with Argentina.
“My wife who has been with me throughout this episode,” he said.
“She has always supported me one hundred per cent. Before the suspension, I had to go from Cardiff to London. It was like a trial, a court hearing,” he said of the World Rugby disciplinary proceedings.
“She grabbed the children and left them with her parents. She came on the train with me. I just wanted to hug her when I came out that day no matter the verdict.
“She knew in her soul what it was like for me that week. But now this is a new challenge.”
Bosch’s decision to stay loyal to the Saracens in the English Premiership means that every match with the Pumas in the World Cup could be his last for his country.
The Argentina Rugby Union has decided that players who are based with foreign clubs will no longer be selected for the national team. Stars like Bosch and Juan Imhoff, who is with Racing 92 in France, have held out against the federation.
A new Buenos Aires team ‘The Jaguars’ in the Super Rugby tournament is to be launched next year.