Veteran Boks call for Smit’s experience in the Rugby World Cup

2011-08-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Three former Springboks have supported John Smit’s inclusion in the Springbok team for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers faces a tough selection poser at hooker. Should he opt for the experienced Smit with his exceptional leadership abilities? Or should he rather go for the more favourable Bismarck du Plessis, whom many pundits feel is a much better option?

However, former Springboks feel it will be a big mistake if De Villiers leaves Smit out of the Boks’ World Cup side.

Corné Krige, the Bok captain at the 2003 World Cup, warned that the Springbok management should learn from mistakes made in the past.

“When Nick Mallett was coach [in 1999], he faced a similar selection poser between Gary Teichmann and Bob Skinstad. He underestimated Teichmann’s value when the team needed a good leader,” Krige said.

Krige says he does not know how De Villiers will handle the situation, but expressed the need for good communication and logical thought processing. Teichmann also expressed the importance of having Smit in the squad. “John Smit’s captaincy is imperative. There is no doubt that he should be in the 22-man squad,” said Teichmann.

John Allan, a former Bok hooker from Natal, says the Springboks will have no chance to win the World Cup without Smit. “He needs to get gametime now. The Sharks should have played him at hooker a lot more during the Super Rugby competition,” said Allan. Allan believes that Smit has the respect of all the players and is “priceless” in the Bok team environment and believes Smit alone can mould the senior players into a unit.

— Sport24.

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