Kwagga eager to make S15 impact
Johannesburg - Springbok Sevens hardman Kwagga Smith hopes to make the most of his opportunities with the Lions on the Super Rugby stage.
Smith played a key role during the Blitzboks’ recent Sevens World Series campaign, helping the team achieve second place in the overall standings, which secures automatic Olympic qualification for the 2016 Games in Rio, Brazil.
Following the final tournament in London, England a fortnight ago, Smith (who plays loose forward for the Lions) received a surprise welcome to the 15-man game last weekend.
“I was given some time off to rest after a tough sevens season, then unexpectedly, I got a call from the Lions management to join the guys in Bloemfontein for the match against the Cheetahs,” Smith told MyPlayers.co.za.
“Andries Ferreira picked up a late injury, and I had to fly over to take his spot on the bench. I managed to get some game time in the second half.
“It felt very strange at first, having played an entire season of sevens rugby for the past several months! Sevens rugby is a lot different to the 15-man game, but I managed to fit into the system and do my job on the field. It’s great being back for the Lions.”
Smith hopes to contribute plenty of value to the Lions as they continue to grow as a Super Rugby power.
“It’s very exciting to be part of the Lions right now. The team is continuously improving and making our mark in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup. And I definitely want to add to that growth,” said Smith.
“Individually, I get to test myself against the top players in world rugby as well, which I really enjoy. In Super Rugby, I get to face the toughest loose forwards in the game.
“I also learn a lot from my team-mates, especially when playing alongside the likes of Jaco Kriel, Warwick Tecklenburg and Warren Whiteley in the loose trio.
“I look up to Warren, who shows great leadership skills and is an inspiring captain. He does well to motivate the guys around him.”
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