Absent since December 31 due to a sprained right knee, John Smit will be in Clermont’s team to face Montauban on Saturday.
Article courtesy www.planet-rugby.com.
The French club have been anxiously awaiting Smit’s return for six weeks while praying that they suffered no more front-row injuries. The club’s relief can only be compared with the relief of the player himself.
“It’s been nearly two months that I haven’t played with the team. It was quite hard. Against Montauban, you can rest assured that I’ll give me all to at the top level,” said the Springbok captain on the club’s website.
The injury, suffered just when Smit had started getting accustomed to his new club and his new life in France, was difficult to swallow for the experienced hooker.
If the pain of his injury and the difficulties of a new lifestyle weren’t enough, his start to the new year was complicated even more by rumours of an early departure from Clermont.
“I learnt of it all in the press. But I have a contract with Clermont and I won’t leave the club. What’s important for me, at the moment, is to get back on the field on Saturday against Montauban,” said Smit.
While the club from central France will be happy with Smit’s return, the ‘Yellow and Blues’ will have to contend with the absence of their European internationals.
Also, France loose forward Elvis Vermeulen and Martin Scelzo are not sure of starting. Vermeulen injured his ribs in France’s Six Nations win in Scotland, and Argentinean Scelzo has an calf injury.
Smit’s fellow South African Grant Esterhuizen is also on the injured list but hopes to be back next week, but former Cheetahs and Springbok centre Marius Joubert will be in the starting line-up.
Clermont squad to face Montauban:
Laurent Emmanuelli, Mario Ledesma, John Smit, Thomas Domingo, Davit Zirakashvili, Martin Scelzo, Loïc Jacquet, Jamie Cudmore, Pierre Vigouroux, Christophe Samson, Sam Broomhall, Elvis Vermeulen, Emmanuel Etien, Fabien Alexandre.
Pierre Mignoni, John Senio, Brock James, Seremaia Baï, Benoît Baby, Marius Joubert, Pierre-Emmanuel Garcia, Vilimoni Delasau, Napolioni Nalaga, Julien Malzieu.