Smit excited by unique challenge

The man charged with leading the Springboks to victory over the Lions has once again spoken of the unique nature of the three-match Test series. [more]

Smit excited by unique challenge

The man charged with leading the Springboks to victory over the Lions has once again spoken of the unique nature of the three-match Test series.

South Africa captain John Smit played against the Lions as a replacement for Natal 12 years ago but he realises that the chance to face the best Britain and Ireland has to offer for his country is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Smit has been confirmed as Springbok skipper for Saturday’s first international in Durban and the Sharks star is delighted that the long-awaited series is almost upon us.

"We’ve been waiting forever and finally all the hype will become a reality this Saturday," Smit told Keo. 

"The series feels more important than most because it’s such a rare thing and because we are facing four nations combined into one.

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"We approach each game to win and in that sense you can’t look at this as a three-Test series. It’s true the game in Durban will determine which direction the series takes, but you can’t look to win a series 2-1, that’s a loser’s approach."

"It’s a big cliche, but we’re approaching this series one game at a time."

Smit will start Saturday’s clash at prop having played the vast majority of his rugby at hooker, but the Boks’ most-capped captain has no qualms about packing down at tighthead.

"I"ve been playing prop for almost a year now so I don’t know how much time I need to prove myself," added Smit.

"It will help to have Beastie (Mtawarira) and Bissie (du Plessis, both Sharks players) next to me, but it really is only one aspect of the game.

"I suppose it also helps that I’ve thrown a few line out balls to Victor (Matfield) and Bakkies (Botha) in my time.

"That has allowed the management to put another fatboy on the bench (the Springbok replacements include two specialist props in Deon Carstens and Gurthro Steenkamp)."

For details on the Springbok side to face the Lions at the ABSA Stadium on Saturday, click here

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