VIDEO: The Moodie move that benefits the Boks
The selection ‘bomb’ was first dropped ahead of the pre-World Cup warm-up game against New Zealand at Twickenham last month, but the Canan Moodie move to outside centre now appears to be a permanent repositioning.
Having started at No.13 in the record 35-7 demolition of the All Blacks, the 20-year-old had his next run at outside centre in the 76-0 whitewash of Romania at Stade de Bordeaux a fortnight ago.
His four carries saw him make 72 metres and while his defence may still require some work, he did enough to earn another start in the #MustWin Pool B match against the hard-hitting Tongans in Marseille on Sunday.
The talented former Junior Springbok has mainly been deployed at wing at senior level, but can also play fullback.
However, he openly stated that his preferred position is outside centre.
“No.13 was the position I played at school, and it is a position I love,” the nine-times capped Bok told a media briefing at the venue of Sunday’s encounter with the Pacific Islanders.
“I was wishing that is the position where I would end up.”
He said the talk of playing at outside centre first started at the Bulls, with coach Jake White.
(WATCH as rookie Canan Moodie talks about the possibility of a permanent move to outside centre for the national team….)
“He told me I would play No.13,” Moodie said of the chats with the Bulls’ Director of Rugby.
“However, [at] wing was where the opportunity came and I took that.
“In the Springbok set-up, before the Wales game, coach Jacques [Nienaber] came up to me and said he wants to run me at No.13.
“It was a big shock, because I didn’t think they would pull the trigger on that move.
“The Monday before the All Black game [at Twickenham] I saw my name at No.13 on the team sheet.
“I was blown away by that, but I got a lot of confidence from him.
“He [Nienaber] is the head of defence and No.13 runs the defence [in the Bok team].
“I had a lot of discussions with him about it, especially in terms of defence.
“Now that I am a No.13 in the camp I am getting a lot more game time at this position.
“Now, with Handré [Pollard] and Andre [Esterhuizen] inside of me, it is going to give me a lot of confidence to play at this position.
“Hopefully, it is the position where I stay.”