John Smit will tomorrow become the most capped test captain ever and like a lot of his Springbok predecessors he has taken his fair share of flack, but I think its time we acknowledge, what he has achieved and also what he has brought to the Springbok table.
Often maligned by the average South African rugby supporters of not being worthy of his place , especially the Blue Bulls who reckoned that Gary Botha was better than him, he has gone on to achieve all that there is to achieve in Rugby, he was largely responsible for always restoring calm and focus to the Springbok’s when it was needed in both the world cup and against the British Lions and it was only when he was out with injury that we started to realise what a great leader he actually is.
I believe we, as South African’s, forget to hail or recognize our heroes and in John Smit we have a player who will go on to be remembered as one of the games greats, but it remains to be seen if he will acknowledge that fact. The All Blacks have, the Aussies have and the British Lions have, but here at home he still has his detractors. Anyway I think he is one of our all time greats and will still set a lot of records, which may never be broken.
Well done John Smit
John Smit fact file
Full name: John William Smit
Date of Birth: 03 April 1978
School: Pretoria Boys High
University: University of Natal (Briefly)
Provincial Sides: Natal Sharks 81 caps
National team: South Africa 85 caps (59 as captain)
Of the 59 games he has captained the side, he has won 42 with a 71% win ratio.
Statistic courtesy of Springbok hall of fame and Wikipidea (and subject to correction)Tweet