Smit off the bench and back in skipper role

2011-04-08 00:00

JOHN Smit is off the bench and will be back captaining the Sharks from loosehead when they meet the Lions in tomorrow night’s Super Rugby derby at King’s Park.

Smit takes over from Beast Mtawarira at loosehead, while former Montpellier prop Eugene van Staden is rotated with tighthead Jannie du Plessis.

Smit will also act as cover for Bismarck du Plessis at hooker.

Unsurprisingly, Plumtree has ignored Bok coach Peter de Villiers’ suggestion that Smit should be selected as a hooker. Current hooker Bismarck du Plessis has been arguably the Sharks’ best forward this season and De Villiers will have to wait until later in the competition to see Smit back in his old position.

In a third change, lock Gerhard Mostert comes in for the injured Alistair Hargreaves, while Ross Skeate provides back-up off the bench.

Smit takes over the captaincy from the 35-year-old Stefan Terblanche, who will be the first Natal/Sharks player to represent his province in 200 games. He has easily eclipsed the long-standing Sharks record of Hugh Reece-Edwards and Steve Atherton (both 165).

Terblanche made his provincial debut for Boland in 1994 before moving to Durban. He has played a South African record 400 first-class games over 17 years. This includes 37 Tests (and 41 in total) for the Springboks, 87 for the Ospreys in Wales, two for the SA U21 team, three for the Barbarians, 67 for Boland, and now 112 Super Rugby and 87 Currie Cup matches for the Sharks.

Terblanche told the Sharks website that his recipe for success was a blend of luck, hard work and intelligence.

“I have been very fortunate with injuries. You have to train hard, rest sufficiently, eat correctly and be smart with your training methods. Rest is just as important as training.”

The super-fit Terblanche retains all his enthusiasm for the game and spoke of the honour of playing for the Sharks.

“I’m just as excited about the game as when I started,” said Terblanche, adding that last year’s Currie Cup final — he captained the Sharks to victory over WP in Durban — was the highlight of his career.

There are three changes to the Lions team with New Zealander James Kamana back at fullback in place of the injured Michael Killian, flank Derick Minnie replacing Cobus Grobbelaar and George Earle at lock ahead of David Bulbring.



Sharks: Louis Ludik, Odwa Ndungane, Stefan Terblanche,Meyer Bosman, JP Pietersen, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel, Gerhard Mostert, Steven Sykes, Eugene van Staden, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit.

Replacements: Jannie du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Ross Skeate, Jacques Botes, Conrad Hoffmann, Adrian Jacobs, Lwazi Mvovo.


Lions: James Kamana, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies La Grange (capt), Deon van Rensburg, Andre Pretorius, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss, Derick Minnie, Franco van der Merwe, George Earle, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Jacobie Adriaanse, David de Villiers, Michael Rhodes, Rory Kockott, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan. Kick-off: 7.10 pm.

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