Springboks star Canan Moodie SA Rugby

Canan Moodie in action at the World Cup. Photo: @Springboks/X.

Is this the year of Canan Moodie? The unbeaten Springbok!

The Springboks are set to expose more youngsters to Test action this year, which should provide an incredible opportunity for Canan Moodie.

Springboks star Canan Moodie SA Rugby

Canan Moodie in action at the World Cup. Photo: @Springboks/X.

Canan Moodie is only 21 years old. He made his Springbok debut as a teenager in 2022, and has racked up 10 Test caps since then, which included forming part of the 2023 World Cup winning squad.

And when it comes to Springbok prospects who seem to have all the talent and ability in the world, Moodie surely stands tall among them all.

From the moment he was roped into the national set up as a prodigiously talented youngster, coach Rassie Erasmus credited him as a unique X factor player who was viewed as someone who was extremely “coachable”.

Notably, in the 10 Tests that Moodie has played, he has started in all but one of them – alternating between wing and outside centre.

It’s understandable that Moodie’s transition to Test rugby started on the wing, but his last three starting appearances came at outside centre. That significance should not be overlooked, nor the fact that he was backed in the No 13 jersey against New Zealand at Twickenham in a World Cup warm-up game.

That was a hugely brave call from Erasmus and the coaching staff, but Moodie never looked out of place, ultimately also gaining incredible experience as the Springboks claimed a stunning 53-7 victory.

Against weaker opposition at the World Cup, the youngster also featured in a 76-0 rout of Romania and a 49-18 thrashing of Tonga.

Canan Moodie is an unbeaten Springbok

Among numerous accolades at the start of his career, the fact of the matter is that the Springboks have won every time Moodie has featured in the green and gold. Coincidence? Maybe! But not entirely.

What is clear is that his preferred position is at outside centre, and it comes at a time when the Springboks will certainly want to start building depth beyond veterans Lukhanyo Am and Jesse Kriel.

You can almost certainly expect Moodie to be picked at outside centre when the Springboks face Wales in the season-opening Test in June, and it will surely be the start of big things to come in 2024.

Erasmus has already made it clear that the coaching staff will be brave in backing youngsters over the next four-year World Cup cycle in order to ensure players such as Moodie gain the necessary experience.

Moodie’s integration into Test rugby is set to escalate over the next nine months, and it’s an extremely exciting prospect for the unbeaten Springbok.

Backing at the Bulls

The explosive utility back officially joined the Bulls in 2021, and he has been an integral member of the senior team over the last couple of seasons.

Jake White backed Moodie to start at centre during the Bulls’ 31-10 bonus-point victory over the Dragons in Newport last weekend, and the Bulls coach has reiterated the importance of continuing his learning curve in this challenging position.

“He [Moodie] made a couple of wrong reads on defence and admits it,” White said. “He said he got caught in no man’s land a few times. “He wants to play centre. He played centre at school, so I’m sure he will work hard on those mistakes.”

The sky is the limit for young Canan Moodie, and this could just be the year that he truly shoots the lights out for the Bulls and Springboks.