Canan’s World Cup dream is gaining wings


Canan Moodie may have represented South Africa in just a handful of Tests, but he undoubtedly has the X-factor: A player who, with his pipe-can skills, made the All Blacks defense at Twickenham gasp for air.

Admittedly, that try in the World Cup warm-up game was not allowed, but this former student of Hoër Landbouskool Boland showed that he is keen on international rugby – whether on the wing or at outside centre.

Now he is in Toulon where he is working hard with the Springboks to successfully defend their World Cup title on France’s rugby battlefields.

“It is a dream come true. In 2019, I was still at school when the boys held up the Webb Ellis trophy. Now I get a chance to wear the jersey with the 2019 winner emblem on it. It is indeed very special and I am privileged to be here,” said the 20-year-old defender.

The Springboks play in their first match of the 2023 spectacle against Scotland in Marseille on Sunday and according to Moodie the South Africans have been persuaded to succeed.

“Every match is important for us, especially when you are in such a tough group. We want to start our campaign with a strong performance against Scotland. We have been training all year for this moment and I believe we are ready for Sunday.”

Moodie is largely used on the wing by the Springbok management and the Bulls, but he played a burst against the All Blacks at centre.

His flair for the game and natural talent means that he can still make deep tracks in Springbok rugby; no wonder he is singled out by overseas media as one of the young danger men whose progress fans should follow at the World Cup tournament.

There is talk that he could make the jump back to wing again against Scotland. If things work out that way, he will face the strong Duhan van Merwe. A duel that will certainly make rugby fans sit up more.