Jake White says shifting Canan Moodie from wing to fullback against Glasgow Warriors affords the Vodacom Bulls boss more moves on the chessboard.
The 19-year-old Moodie replaces Arendse, who has been sidelined with a fractured thumb, for Friday’s clash at Loftus Versfeld. James Verity-Amm, who is more of a specialist fullback, will start on the right wing.
But, White says interchanging backline players – especially among the back three – is not a new concept.
“Canan has been running at fullback to learn the role. The idea was with the World Cup Sevens in mind, where Kurt-Lee might be involved. We needed someone to replace him. That’s why we’ve put James Verity-Amm [a fullback] at wing,” the Bulls boss said.
“It will be good for Canan to have a mature guy like James alongside him. We want to try him out as an attack-minded 15 with experienced guys on the edge helping him.
“What has changed is the way we’ve attacked with a new fullback. Ulster have been on a similar journey to us with someone like Kurt-Lee. Having a 15 that can attack from the back has shown it works. It’s a case of balancing our team and Canan ticks the box.”
White added: “The more queens you have, the easier it should be to compete against teams with limited pieces like pawns and rooks.
“The more versatile you can be [like a queen which can move freely on the board], the better. The game is now about outworking and out-planning the opposition.”
“What’s interesting is that this thinking isn’t new at all,” the former Springbok coach said.
“In the 2003 World Cup, Australia had four fullbacks in their backline and it’s something that I immediately noticed. The point is when you have so many guys that are good enough, it’s just about forming a combination and balancing them out. They showed it many years ago.”