Rugby Championship

Wrestler sets sights on Jannie

2014-10-03 09:02
Joe Moody (Getty Images)
Cape Town - A former wrestler has his sights set on Jannie du Plessis when the All Blacks tackle the Springboks in a Rugby Championship Test in Johannesburg on Saturday.

New Zealand prop, Joe Moody, will come up against Du Plessis in the eagerly anticipated clash at Ellis Park.

According to Beeld, 26-year-old Moody was a prominent wrestler in his younger days and also boasts a medal from the Junior Commonwealth Games. He quit wrestling at the age of 21 to focus solely on rugby.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen described Moody as a valuable player for the future.

"His experience as a wrestler allows him to understand his bodily movements very well. It is a valuable characteristic for a player who scrums, because scrummaging has a lot to do with mobility."

However Moody, who boasts four Test caps, believes his wrestling past has helped him more from a psychological point of view.

"There's actually not so many lessons from a physical point of view that I can apply at scrum time. I have found that the scrum has more to do with your mental aptitude and technique, but power could also have some influence."

Moody said he is ready for the challenge of facing Du Plessis, who he feels is a different scrummager than most New Zealand props.

"Jannie is more likely to target the hooker, which means he means he pushes more to the inside. In New Zealand we are more likely to concentrate on our direct opponent. It's definitely an adjustment, but at least I have faced him before."

Saturday's Test at Ellis Park will be a sell-out, with the Golden Lions Rugby Union indicating all 62 000 tickets have been sold out.

Kick-off is at 17:05.


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Reid, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty


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