Champions Cup: Five South African stars to keep an eye on in Round Three including Canan Moodie and Hacjivah Dayimani

Champions Cup: Split with V Tshituka, Moodie and Dayimani Credit: Alamy
Champions Cup: Split with V Tshituka, Moodie and Dayimani Credit: Alamy

The Champions Cup resumes this weekend with Round Three of the tournament set to excite supporters across Europe and South Africa.

So far, the South Africans have held their own in the world’s premier club competition, but the journey continues with some interesting clashes awaiting fans this weekend.

Planet Rugby has selected five players to watch in Round Three, which includes an intriguing match-up between the Bulls and Exeter Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld.

Wandisile Simelane

Ever since bursting onto the scene with the Lions, the 24-year-old has widely been regarded as one of South Africa’s greatest prospects and, to some extent, has failed to live up to the bill.

Simelane made the move to the Bulls and has played most of his rugby at full-back. However, he has returned to outside centre over the last couple of weeks and has looked far more comfortable. The star is filled with flair, vision and the skill set to match. He is also committed on defence.

He will have a head-to-head with the experienced Henry Slade from Exeter Chiefs and will need to be on his game to match up to the England centre. It is time for Simelane to stand up and be the star he could be, and a strong performance in a game like this will certainly turn heads.

Canan Moodie

Mature beyond his years, young Moodie continues to grow and shine almost with every touch of the ball. Since making his Test debut, the outside back has looked so comfortable at club level; he is very solid under the high ball, creative on attack and strong with ball in hand. His try against the Sharks last month epitomised the player Moodie is fast becoming.

The Springbok goes up against in form Olly Woodburn in a mouth-watering head-to-head. Moodie, however, plays with freedom and exuberance, something Exeter better be conscious of.

It is hard to see where his ceiling is, and the 20-year-old will be looking to throw his name in lights yet again.

Vincent Tshituka

The Shark is genuinely one of the hardest workers on the field every time he plays. Tshituka is a physical specimen, one who can carry extremely well, get over the ball if needed and play with teammates around him.

The loose forward is tenacious and commands the game with ball in hand. He has handled his recent move from the Lions well with some solid performances, but one gets the feeling he is due that blockbuster performance.

As a player who at times carried the Lions on his back, Tshituka will want to show that he moved to the Sharks to go to the next level, one he is very capable of. So expect the 24-year-old to be at his robust best this weekend.

Hacjivah Dayimani

Tremendously quick, in fact, probably the fastest forward in the world at the moment. A centre wearing number eight. Dayimani has really stepped up in the absence of Evan Roos in the number eight role and redefined it in his own style.

During Round Two, where the Stormers hosted London Irish, the number eight made 119 metres with ball in hand, including a whopping four clean breaks – only James Lowe of Leinster had as many.

Underused last weekend in a tough United Rugby Championship clash against Glasgow but is too good to keep out of the game for two matches in a row.

Expect the flair-filled loose forward to show his pace and power in the outsider channels whilst laying off key passes to the speedsters around him.

Deon Fourie

The veteran is rewriting the phrase ‘ageing like a fine wine’ to ‘ageing like Deon Fourie’. There are not many players better over the ball than Fourie right. His timing and strength over the ball is outstanding.

What makes his skill set even more powerful is his ability to execute regardless of where his team is on the field. This season the veteran has forced penalties on the opposition try-line and also on his own when the Stormers desperately needed to release pressure.

The oldest Springbok debutant is no slouch in open play either, carrying the ball viciously and looking for any way possible to leverage the game.

Fourie will be hoping to get his hands dirty against the Exiles this weekend, who will need to ensure they protect the breakdown.

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