miles Devereux rower


Join us as we delve into the career and insights of Marcelo Bosch, a distinguished figure in the world of rugby union. Marcelo made his mark as a versatile player for clubs like Saracens F.C. in the Aviva Premiership and Biarritz in the Top14. His career highlights include representing the Argentina national team, Los Pumas, where he showcased his skills not only as a centre but also excelling at fly half and full-back positions. 

We loved this interview with an exceptional player and now established pundit...

What was the biggest culture shock moving between rugby scenes in France, England, and Argentina? 

When I first moved to France, my biggest challenge was the language. I knew I had to learn not only to be able to communicate while playing rugby but most of all to relate to people in a new country. In the sense of the culture and how I lived in Biarritz, south of France, I fall in love with the place and culture from the beginning. I met great people that helped me settle very fast and made my move over there smoothly. I had to adapt to different kind of cheese haha but I loved it throughout the years. 

In England my biggest challenge was the weather. I had to adapt to cold weather and in winters living below grey skies and short daylight but along the way I got used to. I had luck as I only lived in 2 places for long years and could adopt to the different ways of living and really enjoyed both experiences. 

But finally, I would say that my biggest challenge was coming back to Argentina. It’s been 4 years since I arrived back home after 14 years and it’s been tough. I came back seeking what to do with my life after rugby, while letting go that sports player I used to be, in pandemic, without an own house with a lot of uncertainty. Luckily I’m in a better placer but it’s been tough. 

How do you compare the playing styles and rugby cultures in each of the countries you've played in? 

I would say French rugby has more intuition than English rugby. Or at least while I played in Top 14 long years ago. Nowadays everything evolved and you can tell there’s more structured stuff that helps the intuition of French flair. English rugby is more structured. Teams want to dominate physically and rugby is more direct and structured. 

Of course there are always exemptions but overall I believe that’s the main difference. In the south of France people are very passionate of rugby and stadiums are always packed and noisy and it’s very special to play week in week out. In England is a different kind of atmosphere but loved it too. Most of all in big games while I had the luck to be involved in a fantastic team during my time in the UK. 

What's the most memorable match you've played in, and why? 

There’s plenty but the one that stands out for me in with Los Pumas in 2015. We played against the Springboks at Durban. It was the 3rd game of the Rugby Championship before the World Cup. 2 weeks before my baby twins (Salvador and Valentin) were born. A week later the team flew to South Africa. At the time I didn’t know what to do as the babies were still in neonatal, despite they were evolving and surely a few days later they would be able to go home with my wife. Talking to Agustina (my wife) we decided I would go to South Africa as the kids were almost finishing their time in the clinic. Once in South Africa, we had a great week preparing for there game and we had the team of Los Pumas of the year 1965 that made a tour to South Africa 50 years before. They came to visit us while training and we had dinner with them at the hotel Thursday night. You could tell they were very emotional as they were telling us stories of that tour 50 years earlier. Even remembering people and players that were already gone, so imagine those moments.. I remember being in the anthem while couldn’t contain my tears falling from my eyes. Thoughts of my children, my first game being a dad, playing against the Boks in SA which is always very special and the old Pumas in front of us singing the anthem and all burst in tears. Game was incredible for us as we managed to beat the the Bocks and I had a good performance as well.

How has your experience playing abroad influenced your perspective on the game and your approach to punditry? 

I believe playing abroad in France and England shape me as a player. In France I had a great skills coach in my beginnings and learnt loads in that sense. Biarritz was my first professional club as well so learnt a lot in every sense of the game (Tactics, more depth towards the game itself, etc) and in England for sure I continue to evolve. Learnt more about different aspects of the game, different ways of winning, the mental side as well as in the club we had great leaders. And in my case I was more mature as a player and more regular in my performances compared as when I was younger. 

Punditry came from nowhere. After 2015 World Cup, the Argentine rugby union decided that players playing overseas and not playing for the new super rugby franchise wouldn’t be allowed to be picked for the National Team. As I stayed playing for Saracens I no longer could be picked for selection. In the following years, Sky and BBC contacted me when Los Pumas used to play the Rugby Championship or even the Autumn Test Matches, so that was a start. When I came back to Argentina I was invited onto a rugby program in TV and it seems I did well and since then I was asked if I wanted to do punditry and later on I started to do segments on live games, etc and started learning new thing about communication.

Can you share any insights on the differences in coaching and training methods you've encountered throughout your career? 

If I compare France and England or in my case Biarritz and Saracens in different moments as well because everything evolved very fast year after year, I would say the structure of the week and the timings in everything you do to prepare for the games. In Saracens everything was calculated, even the gym sessions had individual programmes in some cases, in France at my beginnings the gym sessions were more general for everyone in the backs and remember running loads but things changed throughout my years over there because rugby evolved and in terms of fitness and preparing as well. 

As a pundit, what do you find most fascinating about analysing rugby matches, and what aspects do you focus on the most? 

I love to focus and analyse the game itself. The game gives you facts. The field shows the reality of the team performance. I like to analyse whatever stands out, like moments a great defence with urgency, speed off the line and the connections between players, while making good decisions. And in some cases teams with offensive structures with different options asking questions of defenders but when I watch SA I love the heat of the defence and collisions and the kicking game that is so important nowadays in rugby.

How do you think rugby has evolved over the years, and what changes do you anticipate in the future? 

A think it evolved a lot. Nowadays everything is analysed. Teams count with softwares that provide data of every aspect of the game. It’s very difficult to surprise with new tactics. There’s less space for intuition. Even the rules are changing. But still love it, and like to see hoe teams can play with different style.

What advice would you give to young players aspiring to play professionally, considering your journey across different rugby landscapes?

The message would depend to the age of young players but most of all I would cherish them to enjoy it. If they get older and are very discipline and determine I would encourage them to follow their dreams. But I would encourage them to study as well. You never know is sports what could happen, its cruel per moments as for one second to another one could blow someone’s dream because of injury, selection, etc. Enjoy the journey and train hard and be discipline and you never know where you can find yourself in the future.

Are there any particular players or teams you enjoy watching and analyzing, either for their style of play or strategic approach? 

In the sense of strategic approach and even mind games I love SA. It’s a rugby that suffocates, builds pressure and you see a team with clarity of what they want to achieve in the field. Kicking game, etc.. And in the sense of the style really like Ireland nowadays. That is capable of playing wide rugby with options everywhere, with clarity of the individual role giving them plenty of options. That’s why I can’t wait to watch the games between them in a few days.

How do you see the role of technology, analytics, and data shaping the future of rugby, both on and off the field? 

As mentioned before, I think it helped a lot to carry on evolving in different aspects of the game but on the other hand there’s less intuiive players.

What’s your favourite Tiki Tonga blend? 

Liked the social blends but once in a while the heavy hitter - 2 to start the day.

We now you a keen golfer, who would be your ideal 4-ball? 

It’s difficult to pick only 4 but I would say Brad Barritt, Schalk Burger and Schalk Brits. Good golf and banter. Can’t go wrong finishing with some beers for sure. 

Coffee or Matcha? 


Favourite meal? 

In Spanish is Milanesas con Pure, which I believe is schnitzel with mashed potatoes

Who was your sporting hero growing up? 

Lisandro Arbizu, used to play amateur rugby in the same club a started playing and later on he played long years being captain of the National Team.

Stay tuned for more from our "Packing the Winning Punch" series as we continue to explore the lives and insights of remarkable sports figures who make every play count. Join us as we uncover the stories behind the champions.



*Offer valid until 31st July 2024