Springboks take youngster Moodie to Australia, Mbonambi out

August 15, 2022 GMT
South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, center, with teammates after the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, center, with teammates after the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, center, with teammates after the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, center, with teammates after the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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South Africa's Eben Etzebeth, center, with teammates after the Rugby Championship test between South Africa and New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa selected 19-year-old utility back Canan Moodie in its squad on Monday for two Rugby Championship tests in Australia, while hooker Bongi Mbonambi was ruled out of the tour with injury.

The uncapped Moodie, who is highly rated by club coach Jake White, will provide cover in the absence of wings Cheslin Kolbe and his initial replacement Kurt-Lee Arendse. Kolbe has a broken jaw while Arendse was suspended for four weeks for a dangerous tackle in the air on New Zealand flyhalf Beauden Barrett in the opening round of the Rugby Championship.

White, South Africa’s 2007 World Cup-winning coach, has said Moodie is good enough to play 100 tests for the Springboks.

Moodie can play fullback, wing or outside center.

“We believe he has the skills to slot in for Kurt-Lee and Cheslin,” Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said.

Mbonambi has a knee injury that will keep him out for at least a month, SA Rugby said. That means he may also miss two games against Argentina following the Australia trip. The Springboks selected Deon Fourie as cover at hooker alongside Malcolm Marx and Joseph Dweba. Fourie has played most of his recent rugby at flanker but may be asked to switch back to his original position of hooker to help out.

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Veteran No. 8 Duane Vermeulen and utility back Frans Steyn were also included in the 34-man squad and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is back from injury.

South Africa beat New Zealand 26-10 in the first game of the southern hemisphere championship but lost 35-23 to the All Blacks in their second test on Saturday.

South Africa’s squad departs for Australia on Thursday for games against the Wallabies in Adelaide on Aug. 27 and Sydney on Sept. 3.

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