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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Teen sensation Canan Moodie called up to Springbok squad as backline cover

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Johannesburg — Despite the protestations of the Springboks management this week that they would not look outside their borders, it was revealed on Monday that they have called on the services of Canan Moodie.

The move comes after the four-week suspension of Kurt-Lee Arendse after a dangerous aerial challenge on Beauden Barrett in the Boks’ 26-10 victory over the All Blacks on Saturday at Mbombela Stadium.

Arendse’s sanction means that he will not play for the Boks, or in the Rugby Championship until possibly mid-September against Argentina in Durban. Jacques Nienaber’s concern on the wing is justified, despite the rhetoric that has come out from the Bok camp that they currently do not need to look outside their squad, as they do not have a recognised No 14 at the moment.

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Jesse Kriel is touted as a replacement at Ellis Park on Saturday but he is arguably a better mid-field player, while Warrick Gelant could also play in that position, although he is certainly preferred at fullback. Damian Willemse was also named by Bok assistant coach Deon Davids on Monday as cover.

Despite this, 19-year-old Moodie has been called upon, rightfully many would argue, after a stellar United Rugby Championship.

“Canan is one of the exciting young backline prospects in the country as he showed in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this year,” said Nienaber in a statement released by SA Rugby on Monday afternoon.

“His consistently superb performances earned him a place in the final against eventual champions, the DHL Stormers, and this, combined with his Junior Springbok experience in the 2021 Under-20 International Series, will set him in good stead as he enters the Springbok environment.

“Canan was due for a second stint with the Junior Boks this year but unfortunately missed out because of injury. He has a high work ethic, and he’s a skilful player, so we are excited to see what he brings to the squad.”

Nienaber names his matchday 23 for the second Test against New Zealand at Ellis Park on Tuesday.

@FreemanZAR

Sport

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