Goosen compared to Carter
It may be to add more pressure onto his young shoulders, but Toyota Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen was paid the ultimate compliment when one of New Zealand’s leading rugby magazines asked the question on their cover this week – “Is this the new Dan Carter?”
The 20-year-old Goosen, currently in Sydney with his teammates as they prepare for their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Waratahs on Friday, was given the honour by New Zealand Rugby magazine, Rugby News, who used the comparison to Carter, a World Cup winner and World Rugby player of the year, as the future of South African rugby.
Goosen has already played for the Boks and started against the All Blacks at FNB Stadium last year but his season was curtailed by injury and the youngster has played down comparisons to Carter in an interview in the magazine.
For one, Goosen points out he is far from the wunderkind that everyone says he is, and believes his tactical kicking needs to improve significantly if he is to make the same sort of impact on world rugby that Carter did for the All Blacks.
“I think I must listen to that praise and let it come in and go out,” he told Rugby News, “I must keep my head in the game and focus on what I am doing.
“(My tactical kicking) is a weakness in my game, so I am working hard on it,” adding he had taken many tips from working with veteran Morne Steyn during last year’s Castle Rugby Championship.
It was good to see the youngster slot all his kicks as the Cheetahs shocked the Highlanders in Invercargill on the weekend, and given the confidence he received from the win and his own resurgence in play, there is hope that if he stays injury free he could reach the heights others think he can.
For now though, he simply wants to play.