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Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch looking for new challenge and says playing in England is a dream come true
New Saracens signing Marcelo Bosch says he joined the Men in Black because he needed a new challenge in his career and insists he is fulfilling a boyhood dream by playing rugby in England.
The 29-year-old centre agreed to sign for Saracens from French team Olympique Biarritz in April but his involvement in the Rugby Championship for Argentina this autumn meant confirmation was delayed until last week.
Bosch, who has 23 caps for Argentina, spent seven seasons at Biarritz and revealed he made his mind up last year that he needed a new challenge.
"As soon as I heard of Saracens’ interest I was sure I wanted to sign," Bosch told the Times Series.
"Last year I knew inside myself that I wanted a change - I needed a new challenge and a new atmosphere.
"I had been in France for seven seasons and I wanted to change the club and the country and to have a different way of playing rugby so when Saracens came over it was perfect because Saracens are a great club."
Bosch, who is moving into a house owned by club chairman Nigel Wray with his girlfriend, recalled how he hoped he would play in England while watching matches on television as a boy.
"When I was young it was always a dream to play in England," he said. "I always used to watch the international matches on television and I once told my father that I would play in England when I was older - and I was right."
Bosch came over to meet Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths and director of rugby Mark McCall in March.
A deal was struck within weeks and while Bosch admitted to being impressed by the facilities in St Albans and the new stadium at Allianz Park, he says it was the club’s philosophy that struck him most.
"Edward said to me when I first met him that Saracens are a club who try hard to make sure the players are happy not just on the pitch but off the pitch too - he said Saracens is about making memories," Bosch explained.
"Last weekend we went to Amsterdam for the weekend – so you can see the club tries hard to make the players feel good, have good memories and make the players feel happy.
“On these trips you don’t just talk about rugby, you get to know your teammates as people so I'm pleased to be at a club where that is important."
Bosch grew up in Buenos Aires and played for Belgrano Athletic Club, an amateur Argentinean side, until he was 22.
After impressing for Argentina Under-21s, he was picked for the senior reserve side, Argentina A, a year later and it was here he was spotted by Biarritz.
Initially playing outside centre for the French outfit, Bosch has since been used at full-back, fly-half and number 12 by club and country, establishing a reputation as a talented back of all trades.
Bosch insists however that he signed for Sarries as a centre and he hopes to play regularly in one position.
"For the past few years I have played everywhere, it’s a bit of a mess, but if you ask me I am most comfortable playing 13," he said.
"I think when you can play in lots of positions it gives you more of a chance to play in the first team but it’s good for a player to concentrate on one position.
"Every position has different ways of playing and different routines so if you play lots of matches in one position you get used to playing in that position and you play better.
“I expect to play mainly in one position but if the team needs me elsewhere it means they want me to play so I would be happy with that too.”
Bosch was a talented, and versatile, footballer too – he played striker, right wing and central midfield – but when he was 15 he decided to focus on one sport and since most of his friends at school chose rugby, he followed suit.
His kicking skills may yet come in useful for Sarries if Charlie Hodgson continues to struggle with injury while both Owen Farrell and Alex Goode depart for international duty.
Bosch has been drilled at fly-half in training over the past fortnight and while he is expected to be on the bench for Saturday’s trip to Northampton Saints – Hodgson has recovered from an Achilles problem - it is an option McCall may well exploit at some point.
As is tradition with all new players at Saracens, Bosch was made to perform in front of the squad as an initiation last week.
"I didn’t sing because I’m not a good singer so the boys made some music with their mouths and I thought it was better for me to dance," he said. "I’m a terrible dancer too but I tried my best."
And Saracens announced Bosch’s signing in unusual style too. The club posted a video on the internet of him having a blanket whipped off his head - unveiling Bosch's face to an ecstatic room of apparently unexpecting players.
"I was surprised," Bosch explained. "My friends in Argentina watched it on the internet and they couldn’t believe it and I said, ‘me neither’.
"I have never experienced anything like that before but that sort of thing shows you why Saracens are different as a club.
"Of course they are a rugby club and rugby is the most important thing but after rugby it is about being happy and having a good time and I think this showed that perfectly."
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