John Smit (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – Former captain and front ranker John Smit believes the Springboks are blessed with three quality hookers in their Rugby World Cup squad.
While the Boks suffered a heartbreaking 20-18 semi-final loss to the All Blacks at the weekend, they still have one assignment this weekend when they tackle Argentina in the Bronze Final.
Smit, who played 111 Tests for the Boks between 2000 and 2011, said coach Heyneke Meyer cannot really go wrong when picking his No 2.
Bismarck du Plessis is the current starting hooker, with Adriaan Strauss and Schalk Brits behind him in the pecking order.
“Every coach has his opinion and beliefs in certain players, all three are world class with Adriaan and Bismarck being of a similar mould and Schalk offering something quite unique for a front rower with his flair with ball in hand so the good news in my opinion is that Heyneke can’t really get it wrong,” Smit told Sport24.
Smit also spoke fondly about his own World Cup experiences, especially the 2007 tournament when he led to the Boks to a 15-6 win over England in the final in Paris.
“It was without doubt the most memorable moment in our careers, we didn’t conceive what had been achieved until we landed back home to a jam packed OR Tambo airport with thousands of people waiting to cheer us on.”
Smit also singled out then coach Jake White as having a profound impact on him.
“I have had many good coaches and Jake must be mentioned, I knew him since I was playing the game at school and the journey we travelled together to get to Paris in 2007 was an unforgettable one. He was an amazing tactician and knew how to select a well balanced team. Everyone knew where they stood and he gave clear instructions on what was expected of you as a player.”
Friday’s Bronze Final at London’s Olympic Stadium is scheduled for 22:00 (SA time).