Tri-Nations

Div: I trust in John Smit

2011-07-13 21:21
Peter de Villiers (File)

Johannesburg - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is confident that captain John Smit will prove to be a success for the Boks this season.

The coach raised some eyebrows by including hooker Smit in the touring party, but says he is not worried about the 2007 World Cup winner.

"After those two matches overseas (The Boks' away leg in the Tri-Nations), John Smit will be where I want him to be. He hasn't been used properly this year.

"I believe he's gained an extra year for himself after a neck operation last year, a great off-season and great pre-season preparation. He is fresh, raring to go and he just needs game time.

"I trust in John Smit, he's a great world star, a fine player and I'm going to give him the opportunity to show that again. Nobody rated him, then he won the World Cup, and now nobody rates him again," De Villiers said.

Sharks coach John Plumtree preferred the mobile and physical Bismarck du Plessis over Smit as his team made the Super Rugby play-offs but De Villiers stressed the Springboks have different players and would use their hooker in a different role.

"The attributes that Bismarck du Plessis provides for the Sharks are the same ones that Juan Smith provides for the Springboks. The Sharks don't have a Juan Smith at flank, so you can't compare the decisions John Plumtree makes for them. I know John Smit can take his game to another level," De Villiers said.

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