Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

‘The hard work has paid off’ – SA Rugby Young Player of Year Canan Moodie

Moodie was once again head and shoulders above the chasing pack of players for the young player award.

Rising Springbok superstar Canan Moodie proved that he is not just a flash in the pan by following up his brilliant debut season in professional rugby with a second in a row to be crowned SA Rugby Young Player of the Year for the second straight year earlier this week.

Moodie announced his arrival on the international scene with a scintillating debut try against Australia in Sydney in 2022, and has grown from strength to strength since then, and at the age of 21 became a World Cup winner with the Boks in France.

ALSO READ: Humble Etzebeth proud of Player of Year award – ‘To wear Bok jersey is ultimate motivation’

Moodie was once again head and shoulders above the chasing pack of players for the young player award that is given to players under the age of 23, with him beating out Sacha-Feinberg Mngomezulu, Jaden Hendrikse, Evan Roos and Ruan Venter for the title.

Just the beginning

Moodie was very happy to have received the award once again, but was quick to admit that this was just the beginning and that he hoped their would be bigger things in store for him in the years to come.

“All the hard work has paid off. The lonely hours put in and everything that I have done to reach this point. Looking back at it, it was all worth it. To win such an award and being recognised for it means a lot,” said Moodie after the awards ceremony earlier this week.

“But I want to continue growing. I am still a young player, so there is still a lot that I have to learn, see and do. With what I have achieved so far I can’t just be content with that.

“I have to keep striving to be better every day, seeing where I can improve my game and try keep doing better and working harder.”

The second of many

When asked if this would be the second major award of many in what could become a glittering career if the already impressive utility back becomes one of the games greats, he admitted with a laugh that it would be nice if it was.

He also said that he hoped to be a part of another Bok World Cup winning run at some stage in the future.

“I would hope so. You don’t play for (individual) awards, but it is sometimes nice to receive an award and recognition for your hard work. For all the countless hours you put in, the sacrifices you have to make to focus on your goals. To receive something that recognises that makes it worth it,” said Moodie.

“I am usually very hard on myself and I think for most sportsmen that is the case. When you have won something like that (the World Cup) you want more.

“Being at a young age I hopefully have a (good) few more years to go, so hopefully I can be a part of something like that again and bring the trophy home again.”

Read more on these topics

Canan Moodie sa rugby Springboks (Bokke/Boks)