Smit confirms Saracens move
Durban - Springbok skipper John Smit says he is determined to inspire Saracens to back-to-back Aviva Premiership titles when he joins the English champions at the end of the Rugby World Cup in October on a two-year deal.
In an exclusive interview with Telegraph Sport, Smit, who has captained the Springboks in 76 of his 102 caps, a world record, also confirmed that he is to retire from the international stage at the end of the World Cup to allow him to maximise his impact in the Premiership.
“I am hoping to make it to the World Cup and have a pretty good shout there and that will be me,” said Smit, who missed South Africa’s tour of the UK and Ireland last November after undergoing surgery to a neck injury.
“I have had 11 years with the Boks so I think I have had my fair share and that will allow me to concentrate fully with Saracens, when I link up with them two weeks after my last game (for South Africa), which will hopefully be early part of November.
Smit, 33, says he is looking forward to playing with a number of his former Springbok team-mates at Saracens, such as Deon Carstens, Neil de Kock and Schalk Brits, with whom he will be in competition with for the hooker position.
Smit confirmed his move on Twitter on Wednesday, writing: It's official, I proudly announce today that I'll be joining @saracens once this season is over for 2 seasons & look forward to a new chapter.
Smit will lead a depleted Springbok side in the away leg of the Tri-Nations. The team depart on Friday for matches against Australia in Sydney on July 23 and New Zealand in Wellington on July 30.