Canan Moodie: Bulls flyer says he’s ‘trying to learn’ as much as he can from Springbok team-mates

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Canan Moodie Springboks training 2023 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Canan Moodie Springboks training 2023 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Bulls wing Canan Moodie believes being involved at Test level with the Springboks has helped him progress as a player during a short space of time.

The 20-year-old has caught the eye with several outstanding performances for the Pretoria-based outfit since making his debut during last season’s United Rugby Championship (URC) and will be a key player when they face the Stormers in Saturday’s quarter-final in Cape Town.

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Rapid rise to the top

His impressive form for the Bulls resulted in him winning a call-up to the Springboks squad in 2022 and he’s already made four appearances at Test level since his debut against the Wallabies in Sydney last year.

Moodie was in high school when South Africa won the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan but is now part of that group and was called up to a Springbok preparation camp earlier this year.

He said the chance to play and work alongside more experienced players since making his Springbok Test bow has been an eye-opener for him.

“The first time I came into the Bok camp, I was a bit starstruck,” Moodie told BokSquad. “I was at school when I watched these guys win the World Cup. I was supporting and cheering for them, and suddenly I’m playing alongside them.

“Willie le Roux has seen it all… he’s a legend of the game who has a lot to teach someone like me regarding the tricks of the Test-match trade…. such as cues you can use to help you in your game. I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from Willie, Lukhanyo Am and others.”

Despite making tremendous strides during a short space of time, Moodie is aware that he can’t afford to slip up when playing at URC or Test level.

“The demands increase from U20 to URC to Test level,” he noted. “The margin for error is a lot less at the highest level, it’s a lot quicker and a lot more intense.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re switched on for 80 minutes. If you drop your concentration for one minute, the opposition can take advantage and score points against your team.”

Keen to play at Rugby World Cup

Although the battle for places in the Springbok squad is intense, Moodie is enjoying the competition and is keen to represent his country at the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.

“Having so many good options – that’s great for the team,” he said. “But every individual has that competitiveness inside of them. It’s a good thing for all involved to have individuals pushing themselves and each other.

“We saw that at the recent training camp, where the standards get raised by everyone challenging and pushing each other. For me, I’m a youngster, but I can’t think of myself as a youngster, I’ve just got to be the best player I can be at this time.”

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