Tri-Nations

Smit back at prop for Boks?

2011-07-07 07:28
John Smit (File)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Springbok captain John Smit may be cast into the role of part-time tighthead prop again when South Africa embark on their Tri-Nations tour.

While the Tri-Nations will offer Smit a golden opportunity of giving his career as hooker momentum again, Werner Kruger is now the only fit tighthead prop of those still standing in the Bok training squad.

It is believed there is a good chance that Kruger will be among the substitutes when the Boks open their campaign against Australia in Sydney on 23 July.

If that is the case, the responsibility may well be Smit’s to wear the No 3 jersey.

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers on Wednesday expressed concern about the lack of depth at tighthead prop.

“We are trying to get BJ Botha fit,” he said.

De Villiers is not in a position to call up Zimbabwean Bok Brian Mujati from the Northampton Saints because he apparently has passport issues that need to be addressed before he can represent South Africa.

“Mujati’s situation has to be sorted out in the boardroom and I don’t think we can say much more about it,” said De Villiers.

“It’s not an on-field issue. We will consider him if the people in the boardrooms can address the problems.”

Sharks battering ram loose forward Jean Deysel was called up and trained in a loose-trio with Heinrich Brüssow and Ryan Kankowski in Ravensmead on Wednesday morning.

It will be interesting to see if Pierre Spies is considered for the overseas leg of the Tri-Nations.

Considering that there is a Bok training camp in Cape Town, it came as quite a surprise to note a tweet from Spies about the Tower of Pisa. It is understood that he had arranged the holiday some time ago and that his absence carries the blessing of the coaching staff. He can therefore be considered.

However, Spies did not undergo medical testing and Bok management are therefore not up to speed with possible injury niggles.

De Villiers made it clear that he would make the best of a bad situation to ensure that the Boks are competitive on the away leg of the Tri-Nations.

“I’d love to win every test, but I never expected such a long list of injuries,” said De Villiers.

“But the other players will read a lot in my body language if I suggest that they are inferior. We’re not just giving up in the Tri-Nations.

It’s the first time since the series against the British and Irish Lions that we have two weeks to prepare and that may just work in our favour.”
 

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