Smit heading to Saracens?

2011-05-08 07:30
John Smit (File)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town - John Smit, a 102-Test cap veteran with the reputation as the most successful Springbok captain in history, could be on his way to finish his rugby career in England with Saracens after the Rugby World Cup.

Even though Saracens did not want to confirm last week whether Smit will join them, Sport24 have been reliably informed that it is a mere formality that the Bok captain will join the London club after the World Cup. He could even do so for two seasons.

Saracens' CEO Edward Griffiths was reluctant to comment on the matter. "A lot of players are being linked with us, and it's our policy not to comment on it before they have officially signed," said Griffiths.

A move to Saracens would be a logical step for Smit.

The club is partly under South African ownership, with businessman Johann Rupert owning 50% shares in the club. In 2008, one of Rupert's investment companies bought half of the shares in Premier Team Holdings, the company that controls the club.

Saracens view themselves as a home away from home for many South African players in England, while they still aim to cling on to their English heritage.

They are flourishing with the South African influence on their club, and are currently second on the English Premiership log - just one point behind Leicester.

Their South African hooker, Schalk Brits, has also been nominated as one of the candidates for the English Premiership's player of the season.

The former Blue Bulls flank Jacques Burger, has recently been named as Saracens' player of the season.

Other South Africans making a valuable contribution to the Saracens cause are Neil de Kock, Ernst Joubert, Brad Barritt, Deon Carstens, Petrus du Plessis and Mouritz Botha.

Smit joining Saracens would not mean the end of the road for Brits.

Apparently, Saracens are looking for a broader role for Smit, where his leadership qualities would be used to help develop the younger players in their structures.

He would, however, reduce the workload on Brits significantly.

Read more on:    springboks  |  john smit

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