Springbok captain John Smit will not play in the remaining Tri-Nations away Tests against New Zealand in Dunedin and the Wallabies in Perth over the next two weekends because of a groin strain and returns to South Africa on Wednesday.
SA Rugby Monday advised Smit had undergone a scan and it was confirmed he had sustained a strain of his hip adductor in the first Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks on Saturday, according to a SAPA report on www.iol.co.za.
Bulls captain Victor Matfield, who has previously captained the Boks in four Tests, will skipper the team in the absence of Smit.
Smit was forced to leave the field after he was lifted in a tackle by Brad Thorn and then dumped. Thorn was afterwards cited for the tackle and suspended for Saturday’s Dunedin Test.
Andy Marinos, SA Rugby’s manager of national teams, described Smith’s injury as a massive blow.
“John is in my view the most respected and experienced international rugby captain at the moment so his absence is a big setback for the team. We have two tough tour matches remaining but are fortunate to have in Bismarck du Plessis and Schalk Brits two very good replacements,” Marinos explained.
“Victor’s got great leadership abilities, the players respect him too, he’s already our official vice captain … I don’t think it (losing Smit’s captaincy) will be such a great loss. However, we will be left with less leaders on the field and that is something we will have to overcome,” De Villiers is quoted as saying.
Western Province and Stormers hooker Schalk Brits is set to arrive in Wellington late on Monday night as a replacement for Smit.Tweet