Canan Moodie is determined to make the most of his opportunities with the Springboks in 2023 and help bring home another Webb Ellis Cup for South Africa.
The Vodacom Bulls winger had a breakout 2022, earning four caps for the Boks and has backed that up this season. He is now looking to secure a spot in the 33-man squad heading to France in four months’ time.
Having achieved so much in a short time, the 20-year-old remains focused on working hard and making big plays, and reflecting on his journey so far, Moodie told BokSquad: “Never did I dream that I’d be where I am now…it’s surreal.
“This time last year, it was just a thrill for me to win my first senior cap for the Bulls. The demands increase from Under-20 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.”
The Boland Agricultural High prodigy made a memorable Test debut, scoring a try against Australia in Sydney. “I went into that contest with that mindset, and luckily for me, Marika Koroibete got his timing wrong, and I had an open tryline. It was pretty special,” he said.
Joining the Bok setup and playing alongside his heroes has been an eye-opening experience for Moodie. “The first time I came into the Bok camp, I was a bit starstruck… suddenly I’m playing alongside them,” he added.
“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.”
Moodie has been learning from veterans like Willie le Roux and Lukhanyo Am to improve his game and become indispensable for the world champions. “I was in Grade 11 when South Africa won the World Cup in Japan four years ago… never daring to dream that an opportunity with the Boks was just around the corner,” he said.
“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.”
Photo: EPA/Dean Lewins/BackpagePix