Canan Moodie, in the No 13 jersey, points to the future and we may just get a hint of the potential powers of a Springboks midfield in which Damian Willemse wears 12 and Moodie wears 13, writes Mark Keohane.
Willemse, who plays at No 12 for the DHL Stormers, starts at fullback against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Friday evening.
The Bok coaching duo of Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus have picked a strong match 23, and most of them will front Scotland in South Africa’s World Cup opener on the 8th September.
A Test result is always important, especially when it is the Springboks against the All Blacks, but there are even bigger individual battles to be won. Siya Kolisi played for 40 minutes against Wales and he will be asked to empty tank against the All Blacks. Don’t be against him making it past 60 minutes.
Kolisi’s performance in Cardiff was impressive. He led by example and looked decidedly good for a player who four months ago was having knee surgery. His fight and determination to go to the World Cup has added extra spice to the Springboks.
Moodie, who has been the Player of the Match in Buenos Aires against Argentina and was again the MVP against Wales, has played all his Test rugby on the wing. But he is familiar with outside centre, having played there often in his high schools career, which was only completed a couple of years ago.
Moodie has a calm about him that reminds me of JP Pietersen. He is big in presence but understated because of the ease with which he operates.
He is an exceptional player and has such awareness for space. He also runs fantastic angles.
Willemse, who can play No 10, No 12, No 13, either wing or fullback, gets a start in the No 15 jersey, with veteran Willie le Roux among the super subs.
It would be great to see a Manie Libbok, Willemse and Moodie 10/12/13 attack at some stage on Friday evening.
Andre Esterhuizen gets a gallop in the starting No 12 jersey and Damian de Allende is rested. Jesse Kriel, who was influential against Wales, is another who won’t play on Friday.
The regulars are all there, either in a starting capacity or among the potent reserves bench, and it is an imposing line-up.