Springbok star Canan Moodie is relishing his return to the Vodacom Bulls ahead of a Vodacom United Rugby Championship battle with Connacht on Friday.
With 240 minutes from three consecutive Rugby Championship Tests under his belt, Moodie is set to slot back in for the Bulls as Jake White’s troops prepare to face the Irish at Loftus Versfeld.
The 19-year-old showed his ease on the international scene with an assured debut performance marked by an excellent try against the Wallabies, which speaks to a player poised to strike when called upon.
In the buildup to the Connacht clash, Moodie told reporters: “I thought I’d be another Bok squad member holding [tackle] bags, but fortunately things came my way and I got an opportunity to play, and what an opportunity it was to show what I can do on the international stage.
“Now, I’m back at the Bulls, with the lessons I’ve learned there, seeing how Test-match level is there and bringing that back to the URC … playing with amazing players like Sbu Nkosi, Cornal Hendricks and Kurt-Lee Arendse.”
The versatile backline ace added: “This year has been quite the year for me; I didn’t think last year when I was with the juniors that half of this would happen for me. Going from making my Currie Cup debut to the following week playing URC, to a few months later getting a call-up to the Bok squad.
“It’s been an amazing journey so far, and it’s just the beginning for me. Pulling on the blue jersey is also very special for me, showing once again what I’m made of, and proving myself week in and week out.
“People are obviously going to look out for me more – last year, I was the new kid on the block – and now having played for the Springboks … but that’s a challenge for me, and will bring the best out of me.”
With the Boks, Moodie shared a changing room with Frans Steyn, the youngest South African to make a Test debut. What advice did the two-time World Cup winner have for the latest SA prodigy?
Moodie said: “Coming into the camp as a 19-year-old, with all those big guys who’ve won the World Cup, he just told me, ‘They wouldn’t have picked you if you didn’t belong here. So, just give your best and do what you have to do’.”
Photo: URC via Getty Images