Smit spent the 2007/08 season playing his rugby in France, but the lure of the Lions has seen the 30-year-old return home to give himself the best possible preparation for the 2009 series.
Despite the lengthy flight from Paris to Wellington, via London and Sydney, Smit showed few signs of tiredness as he took part in a physical training session shortly after touching down in New Zealand on Tuesday.
Smit, who has been retained as captain since the appointment of Peter de Villiers as head coach, knows his Springbok side will have to be at their best if they are to record their first win on New Zealand soil since 1998.
"I can't think ever in my lifetime that the All Blacks have been vulnerable at home," said Smit.
"We came pretty close in the past but never managed to seal it in the end, when we needed to do so. On Saturday you will see two top sides battling it out in a truly great rugby rivalry. "
De Villiers will name his matchday 22 and his starting XV for Saturday's match on Thursday.
The match itself will be shown live on Sky Sports, with kick-off scheduled for 8.35am BST.
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