Ireland’s Springbok insider

Gert Smal now knows what it is like to win three of the greatest rugby trophies in the world game - the Rugby World Cup, the Tri Nations and the RBS 6 Nations. [more]

Ireland’s Springbok insider

Gert Smal now knows what it is like to win three of the greatest rugby trophies in the world game – the Rugby World Cup, the Tri Nations and the RBS 6 Nations.

And while all were very special experiences, the current Irish forwards coach, and former Springbok assistant, is now setting his sights on witnessing a titanic battle between many of the players he helped win those titles later this year.

Having been part of Jake White’s coaching team that captured the Tri Nations title in 2004 and the World Cup in 2007, the former Springbok flanker knows all there is to know about South African rugby.

But since joined Declan Kidney’s new coaching team in Ireland he has gained an invaluable insight into the game at the highest level in the northern hemisphere. His well-drilled Irish pack laid the foundation for the men in green’s first Grand Slam since 1948 last weekend with a 17-15 win over defending champions Wales in Cardiff.

“There are enough players to pick a very good Lions side and it looks as though it is going to be an incredible tour. South Africa can also pick a very powerful team and they have a settled side at present,” Smal told South Africa’s Super Sport website.

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“They have a lot of experience and the coaching team would have been together for a year and a half by then.”

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