KSA Shark ©

Smit raises Bok standards

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 27 May 2008 at 08:06

Jake White described John Smit as a “very special” captain and new Springbok coach Peter de Villiers wasted no time in re-appointing him as national team leader. On Monday Smit showed exactly why he is so highly rated.

Stepping straight off the plane from France and onto the training field in Stellenbosch, Smit made an immediate impact in his first training session under De Villiers.

Rugby 365 reports that the Bok captain, Smit, joined the Springbok training session within hours after stepping off the plane from France, where he had been playing for Top 14 club Clermont.

While he may return for another brief stint after the two-Test series against Wales next month, the arrival of Smit was greeted with great relief by De Villiers.

“We could not do our planning fully without him,” De Villiers explained.

“What he brought into the practice is exactly what we needed. Everybody is looking at him to take the lead and he did just that.”

The World Cup-winning captain, Smit, spoke of the privilege of once again leading his country into battle.

“It’s always been a privilege and an honour to be able to carry on and I’m extremely lucky,” the Bok captain said, adding: “I have to keep on working to make sure it lasts a long time.”

Smit was also full of praise for De Villiers: “With Peter [de Villiers] there is excitement and passion and I think everything will fall into place, but we still have as lot of work to do.”

There has been much speculation about where Smit will be continuing his rugby after the Springbok management arranged for him to return to the country in the interests of South African rugby.

His old former team, the Sharks, have not sounded too enthusiastic and Western Province have said he’s been priced out of the market.

The other three foreign-based members of the training squad, Percy Montgomery, Victor Matfield and Butch James have all been granted permission by De Villiers to arrive at the Somerset West camp as late as Wednesday.

New Springbok backline coach Dick Muir is also likely to arrive on Wednesday, after his child had an accident at home.

The Springbok management decided to close Monday afternoon’s session to the spectators and the media.

Only the forwards worked out and they concentrated on line-out skills.

The backs had a theory session at the team hotel.

In the absence of Muir, De Villiers has been working with the backs.


  • John is a born leader and he is a very special person – think De Villiers is very wise to have brought him back into the fold.

    It must be a difficult choice for the Sharks though – he is going to be expensive to contract and he probably won’t be able to play any CC.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.05.08 09:03:07 by Nessa Reply
    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • What happens if Smit’s salary issue is not resolved? Does he go back to France?

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.05.08 12:18:55 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • Bit off the topic, but what’s up with Dick Muir’s child? Hope it’s not serious.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.05.08 15:11:40 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @racheltjiedebeer (Comment 3) : I also wondered that. Haven’t heard anything other than that there was an “accident”…

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.05.08 15:31:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Ventured into the murky waters of Keo comments today, and someone mentioned something about his daughter being in ICU. Not sure how true that is though.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.05.08 15:47:10 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach

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