Smith to captain the Boks?
Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Peter de Villiers wants to give Springbok supporters value for their money and that is why he won’t rest any of his heavyweights for Saturday’s Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies.
“I had to weigh up what people want and what they pay for,” said the Springbok coach.
“These are their heroes and they deserve to see them. The important issue is how the players are managed during the week so that they can play for 60 minutes or make an impact.
“It’s not just about picking a team because I also have to consider the role-players. I consider the supporters important role-players.”
With the Bok coach unlikely to rest overplayed senior players this week unless injury strikes, there is a good chance that flank Juan Smith will captain the Springboks on their end-of-season tour.
Smith can then take over the captaincy from John Smit. The hooker is likely to be rested alongside other senior players such as Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger with a view to having them fresh at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
Smith missed a number of games in this year’s Super 14 and Tri-Nations due to personal reasons and that will make it possible for him to be picked as captain should the Bok coach decide to rest players.
The Cheetahs skipper also did not play during the away leg of the Tri-Nations and looks hungry for rugby – compared to Smit, who has played too much rugby according to his coach.
No final decision has been taken regarding the matter as Smith is a key player in the Springbok team with a view to 2011 and De Villiers indicated earlier that the tour to Europe would be a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
However, the vast amount of rugby played may convince De Villiers to rest the senior players and entrust Smith with the captaincy duty.
Meanwhile, De Villiers said he was delighted with the impact of his substitutes bench against the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld. He did not want to single out hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle for the huge impact he made.