Springboks pick Canan Moodie in squad to tour Australia

The Springboks have picked 19-year-old outside back Canan Moodie for their tour of Australia, a player Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White has called a “phenomenon” who will play 100 Tests.

The uncapped Moodie has enjoyed a breakout club season for the Bulls under White’s tutelage and has been selected as cover for the unavailable Cheslin Kolbe (broken jaw) and Kurt-Lee Arendse (suspension).

Moodie is capable of playing fullback, winger or outside center and is in the mix for the Rugby Championship dates with the Wallabies in Adelaide (August 27) and Sydney (September 3).

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White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007, has seen it all in rugby and can’t stop raving about his teen prodigy – who he views as a No.13 in the long term.

Bone rattling tackles feature prominently in his highlight reels.

“He’s a phenomenon,” Bull’s mentor White said.

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“He’s got everything. He was at training today and the next thing we got a call saying we’ve got to send him to the Boks. He was in tears, man.

“It’s a massive thing for a young boy. He’s going to make it – he’s going to play 100 Tests for South Africa. Going to see him and telling him that he’s been picked into the Springboks side makes coaching so worthwhile for us.”

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber was similarly effusive with his praise while naming the “consistently superb” Moodie in his touring party of 34.

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“Canan is one of the exciting young backline prospects in the country,” Nienaber said.

“He has a high work ethic and he’s a skillful player, so we are excited to see what he brings to the squad.”

On the flipside, the Springboks will be without Bongi Mbonambi in Australia after the powerful hooker was ruled out for a month with a knee injury.

Deon Fourie will serve as back up to Malcolm Marx and Joseph Dweba.

Fourie has played most of his recent rugby as a flanker but may be asked to switch back to his original position of hooker to help out following Dweba’s shaky start on Sunday.

“He has been practicing his lineout throws with us, so we are confident that he will be able to fill that void for us in these matches,” Nienaber said of Fourie.

The Springboks fly to Australia on Thursday and are stinging from Sunday’s 35-23 loss to arch-rivals New Zealand which left them with a 1-1 record after two rounds.

“We are bitterly disappointed about the defeat against New Zealand last weekend and we know that we have to be at our best to fight back in the next four matches of the competition to keep us in contention to win the tournament,” Nienaber said.

“We saw what Australia are capable of at home last year (beating the Springboks twice) and we know that we will be tested thoroughly.

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“The last time we beat the Wallabies in Australia was in 2013 so we have a big mountain to climb over there.

“But, that said, we have looked at our game against New Zealand and we know what areas we need to improve on and we will put in the hard work on the field to iron out those aspects when we arrive in Australia.

“It is going to be a tough tour, but we know what our players are capable of, and we are determined to make our nation proud.”

Spring boxing squad to tour Australia: Siya Kolisi (c), Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Salmaan Moerat, Pieter-Steph du Toit, , Elrigh Louw, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Duane Vermeulen, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert, Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie , Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Francois Steyn

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