Rugby World Cup 2011
McCaw chases Smit's record
Richie McCaw (File)
Auckland - Former Springboks captain John Smit
ended his career having led his country for 83 Test matches, a record that could be surpassed by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the coming years.
Smit has arrived in London ahead of his rugby swansong with Saracens, and retires with the Test captaincy record, although McCaw overtook Smit during the Rugby World Cup as the most successful international skipper.
Victory over France was McCaw’s 58th Test win as captain (with 66 Tests in charge), a remarkable record that sees him boast an unchallenged 87.87% winning percentage. Smit won 54 Tests with South Africa.
Only Martin Johnson's record - in terms of captains having played at least 30 Tests - compares, with the English captain winning 37 of his 45 Tests played for a 82% ledger.
According to the allblacks.com website
, McCaw has a contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union until 2015, which could see the World Cup winning captain shatter all records as a Test leader.
Only Brian O’Driscoll stands between McCaw and Smit, with the Irish captain having led his country on 81 occasions.
But Smit told the London Evening Standard
that while he may have retired from Test rugby, he was going to Sarries to be a player, not a vacationer.
"There are two types of players who have come here from the southern hemisphere," he said.
"There are the guys who want to come here and make a life here. Those guys have invariably done well and proven to be an asset to their clubs.
"You have had other guys who have come here and sat around and not paid the Premiership that respect. I'm fully aware of that, and it's not my intention.