Former Springbok prop Os du Randt’s legacy lives on in the Class of 2008.
John Smit, who will captain the South African rugby team for a record 50th time in the Test against Wales here on Saturday, believes several members of the team can still apply lessons that they learnt from Du Randt.
Pieter Jordaan writes in Volksblad that the legendary Free State Springbok retired after the 2007 World Cup final but Smit said on Wednesday, “I feel privileged to have played alongside him. He will forever remain an icon of the Green and Gold.
“During the past four years, Os was certainly more than just a player. He was a father figure and an example to everyone.”
Gurthrö Steenkamp and Brian Mujati are expected to be Smit’s props when the SA team is announced here on Thursday.
Front-row veterans such as Steenkamp and CJ van der Linde are among those who have learnt a great deal from Du Randt.
“One thing one must say is that Os did not take his experience with him when he went farming,” Smit said.
“He empowered many players. Just look at guys such as Guthrö, who is coming through, and CJ, who almost plays as Os did. And then you also have Wian du Preez in the rankings.”
He has done his job
The Springboks were fortunate, Smit said, that they were able to tap into Du Randt’s vast knowledge.
“One day it will be my turn to sit and watch from the touchline,” he added. “I think Os is very happy now. By helping to win the World Cup twice, I feel he has done his job.”
Steenkamp has been seen as Du Randt’s logical successor for several years but injuries have hampered his career.
He now has an ideal opportunity to prove himself against Wales, particularly with Tendai Mtawarira challenging for the loosehead jersey.
Zimbabweans Mtawarira and Mujati have impressed in the Super 14 and there is certainly no shortage of solid props after Du Randt’s departure.
Smit’s role as mentor will also be highlighted again when he scrums down between different prop forwards in Test matches this season.Tweet