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Monday, January 30, 2023

Kurt-Lee Arendse excited about Bulls back-three with Canan Moodie and Sbu Nkosi

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Cape Town – How about this for a Bulls back-three in the United Rugby Championship: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and Sbu Nkosi…

Such a trio would make rugby romantics’ hearts flutter, as they are all exhilarating players on the pitch.

And with coach Jake White showing during last year’s run to the final that he gives his backs licence to thrill on attack, there could again be an avalanche of electrifying tries scored by the Pretoria outfit.

White may have to wait to see them line up together, though, with Moodie currently on tour with the Springboks after making an excellent debut against the Wallabies in Sydney last week, while Arendse is still serving his four-week suspension for a red card received against the All Blacks.

Nkosi will hope to make a big impression at the start of the URC campaign, which kicks off against the Lions at Ellis Park next week Saturday (4.05pm), in order to play himself back into Bok contention.

“I think it’s an exciting combination, and we all three are attackers, so I am actually looking forward to that,” Arendse told Independent Media at the URC season launch in Midrand this week.

“I am very happy for him (Moodie scoring a try on Test debut). He is grabbing the opportunity with both hands, and he deserves it. He works really hard for it, and he is always willing to learn. I am really happy for him.”

The 26-year-old Arendse has had a fine introduction to his Bok career, with a solid performance against Wales in Bloemfontein, and then scoring a try against the All Blacks in Mbombela.

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But then he took out Beauden Barrett in the air towards the end of the match and copped a red card, and he is now out of action and will only return for the final Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Durban on September 24.

“I must say it’s (the suspension) rather frustrating, but I am enjoying it as well at the same time. I have realised what I have achieved, and I am just thankful that I got the opportunity to play for the Springboks,” Arendse said.

“I must say, the environment is very different, but very professional – it teaches you a lot, how they do things.”

Arendse has been outstanding at the Bulls, first at wing and then fullback. So, which position would he prefer playing going forward?

“I don’t know! I am just enjoying it, the opportunity that I am getting, and making the best of it. At wing, there are many more defenders, and at fullback, there is much more space and you tackle much less. I enjoy both… You have to kick more at fullback. My first option is to run, but you have to adapt,” the former UWC and Blitzbok star said.

“That last game we played (for the Bulls), to fall short in the final (against the Stormers), it’s not something that we want to go through again. But we learnt from our mistakes. I must say it wasn’t nice at all. But you must lose to win, so yes…”


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