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The players set to profit from Wales' new gameplan

With the Pivac era now a distant memory, Warren Gatland has a rich seam of talent to select from in the Six Nations

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'I can't believe he hasn't played 50 Tests'

By Ben Smith
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Blue Bulls benefitted from the return of two of this year’s capped Springboks in Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse against Cardiff, but it was flyhalf Johan Goosen that impressed head coach Jake White the most.

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Goosen was instrumental in the Bulls’ win, pulling the strings as the chief playmaker while scoring a dashing try himself, cutting through some feeble defence up the middle to dive over by the sticks.

White was extremely pleased with the way Goosen opened up gaps for players around him once they had some front foot momentum which laid the platform for a comprehensive Bulls’ win.

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“The more he plays and the more they get to play around him, the better,” White said of Goosen.

“I’m really excited because we’re not even halfway through the competition, and we’re scoring lots of tries, and we look dangerous every time our backs get the ball,” he said.

“Goosen probably hasn’t been given as many opportunities as I would have liked at No 10, because he hasn’t been able to train there for long periods of time.

“He was injured, he came back, and we used him as a fullback because the team needed him more in that position, especially when we lost our Springboks.”

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Goosen earned a belated call-up to the Springboks squad for the end-of-year-tour, named initially as the only specialist flyhalf after injury to Handre Pollard.

However, it was utility Damian Willemse who made all the starts before Stormers No 10 Mannie Libbok joined the side.

Goosen featured for South Africa ‘A’ before joining the main squad but injury prevented him from making his first test appearance since 2016.

That the 30-year-old has just 13 Tests under his belt was a shock to the former Springboks head coach.

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“He needs to get game time at No 10, and if that’s the type of game he’s going to play after a limited time of running in the No 10 jersey, then we’re obviously very excited about where this can go,” White said.

“I know it and everyone knows it; he’s a talented player, and I can’t believe he hasn’t played 50 Tests for South Africa.

“It is what it is, and we have to get him back into the saddle now so he plays as many games as he can.”

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White was excited by the talent at the Bulls disposal with two of the most exciting young Boks players in the team.

Right winger Moodie was named Player of the Match after scoring a brace, and both were assisted by Arendse.

“Every time they kick the ball and Canan, or Kurt-Lee catches it, you can just sense it, and even the crowd feels that something is going to happen,” said White.

“When you combine that with guys like Cornal [Hendricks], Lionel [Mapoe], Harold [Vorster] and Johan Goosen when he’s on song like he was tonight, it’s fantastic.”

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