Canan Moodie adds to growing Springboks’ injury concerns as Jake White explains duo’s absence

Jared Wright
Springboks back Canan Moodie and flanker Marco van Staden.

Springboks back Canan Moodie and flanker Marco van Staden.

Canan Moodie will miss the Bulls’ United Rugby Championship (URC) quarter-final against Benetton, with his recent injury possibly impacting his involvement with the Springboks.

The utility back has played mostly on the wing for the Bulls this season but has also featured in the centres, where he started his last three Test matches for the Springboks.

Doubt around Canan Moodie’s fitness

The 21-year-old was part of Rassie Erasmus’ plans for the upcoming internationals, but having gone under the knife to sort out a hand injury, he could miss the Boks‘ two Tests against Ireland.

Bulls boss Jake White shared an update on the talented youngster after naming his team to tackle Benetton, with fellow Springbok Marco van Staden also absent from the matchday 23 due to injury.

Canan injured his hand against the Sharks last weekend and will be going for surgery today,” White explained in a Bulls’ press conference.

“It is one of those where they will only be able to see how serious it is once they open him up. It is his index finger (that is fractured) which influences his passing, on top of his pinkie a few weeks ago which he has strapped before.

“I am not sure if it will be one of those that you can strap in a couple of weeks and play but he remains unavailable this week and the next.”

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White added: “From the Boks point of view, I hope it is not that serious so that he is ready for the Irish series.”

Moodie’s absence would be yet another blow to the Boks midfield with doubts surrounding Lukhanyo Am’s fitness while uncapped Lions star Henco van Wyk and Ruhan Nel of the Stormers are both sidelined as well.

Therefore, Jesse Kriel is likely to continue his stranglehold on the number 13 jersey after standout performances throughout the World Cup with the likes of David Kriel, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Ethan Hooker and Dan du Plessis coming into the selection frame.

Erasmus could also turn to the likes of overseas-based centres Jan Serfontein, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Burger Odendaal and Jeremy Ward while Damian de Allende has also started in the number 13 jersey for the Springboks and moved into that role in the past.

It would be a further blow to the Springboks with Jasper Wiese missing the series through suspension while Damian Willemse and Steven Kitshoff have both been ruled out due to injury.

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Marco van Staden

Meanwhile, White provided clarity on Van Staden’s injury with Nizaam Carr taking his place in the starting XV.

“Marco would have been able to play had this been the last game of the season,” the Bulls boss explained.

“But I do not want to take the risk knowing that he is a part of the national squad and have him break down ahead of the international series. I do not think it is fair, unless he is a hundred per cent alright, to put him back on the field.”

That suggests that the openside flanker is likely to be involved in the semi-finals if the Bulls do defeat Benetton on Saturday and progress to the last four and he could be joined by Marcell Coetzee.

“He should be back next week if all things go well,” White added when asked about Coetzee’s fitness.

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