Smit: I'm not too old

2011-07-17 19:51

Johannesburg - "Write me off when you can see I'm not willing to die out on the field. Then you will have a case against me, but only then."

That was the words of Springbok captain John Smit, in a heartwarming interview with Rapport's Hanlie Retief, about the hefty criticism his inclusion in the World Cup squad has received.

Smit said he is still hungry for rugby success. His goal is to claim a second successive World Cup victory for South Africa this year. No side has ever won back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles.

"That's what I want. It's what I seek."

In response to criticism that he is too old and not good enough to wear the Green and Gold anymore, Smit says: "Judge us older guys after October. Those Boks that you say are over the hill. Look at our attitude, look into our eyes. We want to win."


  • First48 - 2011-07-17 20:07

    Goodluck boet! You and the other Boks are going to need it.

      The Who - 2011-07-17 20:24

      I agree. It's time to stop whinging and get behind the team. Win or lose, The Boks will always be champions!

      michaelx - 2011-07-17 22:26


      Backstabber - 2011-07-17 23:51

      Rockster666 = Tsheps = BCC = Kok = Legend = legend Hehehehehehehehehe...

      HugoG - 2011-07-18 04:32

      Maybe not to old but useless and fat for sure!

      Makutu - 2011-07-18 05:37

      Just retire NOW please. You are too old. It is more than evident on the field of play.

      Makutu - 2011-07-18 05:53

      Victor Matfield (34), John Smit (33), Danie Russouw (33), Bakkies Botha (32), Butch James (32), CJ van der Linde (31), Adi Jacobs (31), Guthro Steenkamp (30), Jean de Villiers (30), Johan Muller (31), Juan Smith (30), Jannie du Plessis (29), Fourie du Preeze (29)... I am sorry to say but that's just way too many players at a very late age. Look at the Super 15 teams. There is hardly any team with more than 2 players over the age of 30 all in the starting line up. I cannot think of one. So, that ultimately says something about player's age(s). There is a direct correlation between age and performance. The younger guys perform a lot better than the older guys. Hence the Super rugby teams are dominated by youngsters. I think that the Bok selectors need to THINK a little more. I support the Bokke but this is a serious call for concern.

      Tools1 - 2011-07-18 08:03

      Well we put our trust in you before and you certainly stood up to the task. If i recall correctly you where scrutenised then too. It does seem though that it has become more of what you do to the team than what you do on the field. The mob is fickle Johnny Boy. You have nothing to prove and you dont owe anybody a damb thing. You just go out there and win us a wold cup. You certainly know how.

      BlouBos - 2011-07-18 21:56

      Siily, but Mr Mandela also said this morning on his 93 birthday that he is not old.

      PunkBuster - 2011-07-19 11:34

      Screw what everyone else say's. Work hard and bring it home. Good luck skip, the boys are gonna need you on this tour...

      CliffB - 2011-07-19 15:01

      Backstabber -The things shag sheep & goats , dont be so haRD ON THEM !!!

  • Joe Soap - 2011-07-17 20:15

    Best of luck to John and the Boys, knock those Ozzie out the park!

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-07-17 20:15

    Greatest test Captain of all time - I hope you get it John - I really hope you do.

      Andrew - 2011-07-17 21:27

      One cannot argue that if you said Springbok captain. When it comes to the international stage then if you argue longevity then yes, most tests then yes but if you want to argue on percentage games won (must be the acid test) as captain then no. There just too many other international rugby captains with better results to make that statment. Current international captains John 71% success while Richie has 87% success. But I do agree with you, I also hope he gets to bring the WC to bring home.

      pieterc - 2011-07-18 05:40

      @Rob ...Better than Danie Craven, Hennie Muller, Hannes Marais, Morne du Plessis??? I think you may be getting carried away a tad there old mate.

      Rodney - 2011-07-18 15:13

      Richie, Danie, Hennie, Hannes and Morne have how many World Cups now?

      BlouBos - 2011-07-18 15:33

      Who framed Rodger Rabbit?

  • Werner - 2011-07-17 20:24

    Even the issue is getting old ....

      Gazza69 - 2011-07-19 09:36

      He is not too old......just too fat and too slow!

      LexLuther - 2011-07-19 10:15

      :-) good one Werner

  • Ken J May - 2011-07-17 20:25

    Now we're talking!! Show them Cappie!! Go Bokke!!

  • dian.cronje - 2011-07-17 20:30

    Dear John - "That's what I want. It's what I seek." That is the problem my friend - it is not about what YOU want - it is what is BEST for the team! each time you make this "i am still willing to die for the boks" argument i cringe - ALLL formers and current Boks will die for their team u dumbnut - I am also willing to die for the team - it does not make me the best player does it?! U are the best leader - we will NEVER argue on that - but To try and justify your inclusion on your desire to play for the Boks is fallacious and just damn selfish...

      Andy49 - 2011-07-17 20:38

      It has always been only about him, always about 'me' & 'I'. I want to be the 1st captain to win successive world cups. I have an ego that needs to be stroked to be satisfied.

      Ken J May - 2011-07-17 22:40

      Hey Dian last time I looked he didn't sellect himself, he was also only commenting on the negative reaction to his inclusion in the squad and not about being the best! Just because your friends call you dumbnut is not to say you can use the name at random!

      Creeky - 2011-07-18 04:05

      Dian... the expression is NUMBNUT,............... NUMBNUT!...... WTF a DUMBNUT is, is beyond me and most on this site!!!!!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-18 16:39

      just a quick one, would you really DIE for your team? As in, die? I love rugby. But its just a game.

  • Frans Smith - 2011-07-17 20:31

    so did martin johnson thought, with his previous world cup players in 2007, and the 1987 ab's in the 2001 world cup.... we will belucky to make the semi's - and i love rugby and i am a huge supporter, but i am also a realist. still hope they will pull of a miracle(and it will be if it happens), but it is the impossible that takes a bit longer... and i reckon it is impossible.

      Makutu - 2011-07-18 05:33

      2001 World Cup?

      Gazza69 - 2011-07-19 09:39

      1991 maybe??

  • Karoobloed - 2011-07-17 20:38

    I have huge respect for what John Smit has achieved. But the "willingness to die" for what "what I want" reeks of personal ambition rather than what's best for Bok rugby. He keeps occupying a position in the team that rightfully belongs to arguably the best no# 2 on the planet - Bismarck du Plessis. Based on current form, the Boks will probably be beaten by either the ABs or the Wallabies in RWC 2011. The chances are thus better than 50% that John Smit's legacy will be forever be tarnished by the fact that the Bok selectors did not have the balls to make a difficult but correct decision in a timely fashion.

      Maarten - 2011-07-17 22:12


      Creeky - 2011-07-18 04:09

      Have you noticed that in the past, when the players come out and "SWEAR THEY WILL DIE FOR THE SPORT".... or state, "WE ARE READY"... "WE CANNOT WAIT TO RUN ONTO THE PITCH".... They get given a HUGE WOODEN SPOON........... up the naught? This includes the National Cricket and Football team! Learn to be HUMBLE.... and keep that mouth SILENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Creeky - 2011-07-18 04:15

      Karoo... have you noticed how many PENALTIES Bismark hands over to the opposition? Thats his downfall! Along with Bakkies "Penalty" Botha and Skalk "OFFSIDE" Burger. Most of the top teams know how to "Get up their noses" and taunt them into giving those Penalties AWAY!

      Makutu - 2011-07-18 05:34

      Much agreed Mr.

      Airborne68 - 2011-07-18 07:19

      Watch out for Samoa. Let's not worry about the ABs and the Wannabees yet.

      LexLuther - 2011-07-19 10:21

      100% Karoobloed. He should be there for leadership and inspiration and experience, but NOT as the starting hooker. P de Villiers has not had a long-term plan and vision for building a new team, and now we are asking all the old players to come through for us. The RWC is a long, grueling tournament and we have to play very physical teams like Fiji and Samoa. We actually need a cohesive, young team that knows what it is doing, not a team that will be forced by injury to make crucial changes at every match... P de Villiers's heart is in the right place, but he is out of his depth and always has been.

  • Gomez - 2011-07-17 21:09

    Behind you 100%..Go Bokke!Make us proud!!!

  • Stufflé - 2011-07-17 21:15

    The man is dom. We are not moaning about his age. Our problem is that there are many other No 2's that is a lot better than Smit. Purely on form he should not be in the team.

  • Scaramouche - 2011-07-17 21:18

    Samoa showed this morning that a lower rank team playing with heart and discipline can topple the Aussies! Take heart Bokke!!

  • hardloop - 2011-07-17 21:49

    I think i'll literally have to stop watching springbok rugby if we do, somehow, win back-to-back titles. I mean, how much better can it get after that? And i would do so happily. Go BOKKE! I for one have always been right behind you.

  • Kuppy - 2011-07-17 22:22

    John with all due respect your Sharks coach seems to think you can't last a whole game of 80 minutes and only brings you on for about 20 minutes it looks like he even thinks that you don't have it in you anymore. John you are reminding me of Chester Williams he also would not call it a day and carried on playing past his best and in the end he was pushed to pack it in, why do you want to retire like that, surely you have made enough money by now. A captain should be there for most of the game and not captain a team from the sidelines.

  • Aitsa - 2011-07-18 00:43

    Having read the interview, I think old John was actually quite measured and I liked the guy better after reading it.. "Lashes out at critics", as in your blurb, is simply bizarre...

      BigD - 2011-07-18 07:18

      I agree with you. John is getting the blame here for been selected, why. He is still a better rugby player than any of his detractors in these posts are or were or ever wished to be.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-18 02:03

    I'll not write another 'Dear John' letter as the topic is stale. We are stuck with John Smit, whether we like it or not, until after the RWC. From now on, and for the duration of the tri-Nations and RWG2011, I am solidly behind all fifteen Springboks wearing that lovely jersey on the field of play. Come on, Bokke, make it a back-to-back win ( in the RWC) and shut up those overrated Ausies and Kiwis! Start right here in the tri-Nations and beat them with our so-called second string team! The Ausies already lost to Samoa and the Kiwis is but only the Crusaders in mourning!

  • Mark Milligan - 2011-07-18 03:57

    Good luck boet. Time to get behind the Boys and stop all the moaning. I am a hundred percent behind our boys.

  • Tjonki - 2011-07-18 04:24

    John is 'n yster! Almal kan maar hulle oppinies lig, maar die statistieke spreek vanself. Hy herken in sy autobiografie dat hy nie die beste springbok rugby speler is nie, maar weet dat hy die taak kan verug met sukses! Al die Bokke het my ondersteuning, maak nie saak asof hulle Stut, Slot of Senter speel nie, my Bloed is Groen en my hart klop Springbok Rugby. Ek was bevoorreg gewees om die Aus vs Samoa wedstryd te kyk in Sydney, en gister het ek weer besef dit is elke rugby liefhebber se wens dat sy span goed doen, maar geen span kan goed doen as sy mense hom nie ondersteun nie. Hou op snert gesels en die Bok Kaptein afkraak, ondersteun hom en die res van ons Bokke!! SPRINGBOKS FOR LIFE!!!

      PraetorIII - 2011-07-18 05:22

      John was 'n goeie kaptein, maar was maar altyd net 'n gemiddelde speler. Bismark en Schalk Britz is strate beter as hy!

      Phelan Wulf - 2011-07-18 08:05

      Jy is reg, die statistieke praat vir hulle self. Die statistiek bewys dat JS die swakste hakker is in die S15. Maar die vet weet, die stupid Sharks supporters is te blind om te sien. En wee die arme siel wat iets negatiefs se van JS. Daardie "posts" word verwyder.

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-07-18 08:20

      Ek is n Bull supporter ,en n groot Bok supporter,John is gekies en ek ondersteun hom 100%,gee hom n kans en staan agter die bokke

      CliffB - 2011-07-19 15:02

      BLOODY AGENT -Dis wat ons nodig het - BOKKE

  • Marcell - 2011-07-18 04:32

    Die ou wat 'n Lotto kaartjie koop wil ook wen.

  • PraetorIII - 2011-07-18 05:20

    Pofadder's golden oldies team also got attitute and wants to win, but there is a reason why we don't send them to RWC! I am sure Os du Rand would also like to play in a another RWC; there is also a reason why we do not include him in the team. Do the right thing and resign from the team...

  • Roy - 2011-07-18 05:28

    Hey John! You are perhaps not to "old" but you are definitely slowing down.For the amount of money you guys earn I too would play as long as possible so that I can retire well-off.

  • Greenpoizn - 2011-07-18 06:02

    Good on you John have a great tour

  • dale mckinla - 2011-07-18 06:18

    brilliant springbok!! deserves to be there!!

      Makutu - 2011-07-18 06:57

      My goodness? Deserves to be there?

  • Bloubul Jonck - 2011-07-18 07:05

    He belongs in a old age home

  • Zooma Lema - 2011-07-18 07:22

    It is not a case of staying alive on the field, it is a case of being able to compete with the best. That is why SA needs his first three best hookers for each game. The road is long the leads to the semis.

  • JJRR - 2011-07-18 08:09

    Kan nie hoor nie OUPA se weer?!

  • BLOODY AGENT - 2011-07-18 08:18

    John the only way to prove your point is to play better than Bismark or Fourie,and i know you can,you have always been a good leader and a world cup winning captain,now go kick some Wallaby and Kiwi ass and come back with your head held high.Go John make us proud

  • piet4545 - 2011-07-18 08:33

    he should take a page out of Daren Clarks book.

  • MB1810 - 2011-07-18 08:34

    I agree he is not to old to play, he's just not good enough anymore - I think him and Mealamu are about the same age 32/33, difference is Mealamu still delivers the goods. Regardless if I agree with his inclusion though, I'll support them and all the better if he does make good on his promise to give it his all. Lets just hope his "all" is good enough. Good luck John and Co!

  • claude.jacobs2 - 2011-07-18 08:43

    John smith and his old brigade must stay @ home select the form players and not old people like him and his deputy and alot others in the squad.

  • claude.jacobs2 - 2011-07-18 08:44

    John smith must step down now and all the old crocks!!Select form players please.

  • Laurie - 2011-07-18 08:54

    I've got nothing against John Smit - actually quite like the guy as a player. The question however is not whether John Smit has the will to keep going - of course he has - but rather, is he still good enough? That is the question for the manager to decide.

  • Mark - 2011-07-18 09:01

    Hope you can face the music after RWC 2011

  • Honey_Spider - 2011-07-18 09:19

    Yes you are. SA boast the two best hookers in the world and you not one of them, I feel sorry for guys like Britz, he should be allowed to represent another country, we cap good players just to make sure they cant play anywhere else. Im a shark supporter and have always supported Smit but he has had his time, throughout the S15 the sharks struggled no matter where they played Smit, and as soon as he was replaced the game and scrum changed. You cant just be a good scrummer, (which he isn't) or a good line out thrower, (which he is average at), you need to be able, as a hooker, to run at and side step the opposition, and be able to crash the ball up or slot into the back line as needed, which he definitely cant. He certainly cant contest the ball on the ground. Mostly its a slap in the face to Matfield and Smith to say no one else can captain the team.

  • Kevin Rack - 2011-07-18 10:22

    Write me off when you can see I'm not willing to die out on the the time you walked off the field laughing with Greagan after the aussies pounded us by 30? points. Ja laughing having a good ol chuckle when you should have held your head in shame. That day you should have pissed off. Smittie we shall know soon if you are just another gravy train old boy...

  • Quintin - 2011-07-18 10:44

    I say AGAIN..... All you critics thats not giving them a chanch are going to swallow your word like a bitter pill and stand on the side while we cheer them on. Not only are those older guys going to play a vital role in securing a back to back WC win but they are laying a foundation for the young guns to make it three in a row come 2015. We are a ruby rich country stop bitching and support the oaks. Yes I dont always agree with Pdiv and believe there is better but if I bitch about him then I have got no right in joining in their celebrations when they bring the trophy home....

  • Carl vg - 2011-07-18 10:58

    John Smit is te min...

  • Superdude - 2011-07-18 12:23

    Fighting talk, but the body and ability is not there anymore. There are fitter, stronger and more capable youngsters coming through John. Nobody questions you desire, heck we would all love to still be out there playing our best...but God has another plan for us and it involves getting older unfortunately.

  • diode - 2011-07-18 12:50

    "to die on the field", we 're scared if you play 80 min you'll die on the field, only one game of 80min in the super15 while the others died on the field, nope sorry John we need to see that kind of rugby from you before the world cup to justify your position against guys like bismarck not hear excuses after the world cup. Lets see in the trinations, you got 4 games now to play full 80 minutes and we'll see if you are up to the task, otherwise give old Vic a chance to be captain as you had yours and Vic is retiring this year and he still deserves his spot in the team. The proof is in the pudding now lets see this weekend.

  • SA-FAN - 2011-07-18 14:06

    ek kan maar net lag vir almal se comments, enigste sportsoort in suid afrika wat twee wereld bekers kon wen, enough said!

  • BlouBos - 2011-07-18 15:29

    Siily, but Mr Mandela also said this morning on his 93 birthday that he is not old.

  • Clint Kirby - 2011-07-18 16:27

    Write me off when you see Im not willing to die out on the field, John John John if you actually tried running instead of walking from scrum to scrum you might actually die on the field. We dont doubt your leadership and eagerness but Hell dude, its talent that wins and you lack seriously in that dept! Such a great leader should surely see that you are to the detriment of the team and hence the reason you sit on the bench half of the Franchise games. Open your eyes and stop being selfish, let the better hooker play! Show your character and walk away so our Boks have better chance!!

  • Schmoe - 2011-07-18 16:31

    I think it was John Smits extra weight that caused the planes engine to overheat.

  • John Smith - 2011-07-19 02:34

    lol - just give it up Johno with all the die on the field glory bollocks. Its pretty tasteless especially considering a young player just died on the weekend in Australia. At your age it would be a rather pathetic way to go leaving your family behind. So lay off it. Second wethere you have a burning desire to win or not if theres no gas in the tank, if yure out of shape and unfit then it doesnt matter what desires you have - youre not going to get there. Theres a huge amount of talk but let me tell you the senior players have a monumental task ahead of them and I dont think a lot of them will make the cut. John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez, Butch James, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Jacques Fourie, Frans Steyn (even if he´s not old), Ruaan Pienaar ditto and possibly Johann Muller better step up to the plate in a big way. If you consider we have Adriaan Strauss, Flip vd Merwe, Francois Louw, Sarel Pretorius, Peter Grant, Sias Ebersohn, Lwazi Mvovo, Bjorn Basson, Riaan Viljoen etc at home then they have a fair bit to answer for. Samoa, Wales, Fiji then possibly New Zealand then possibly Australia - this is going to be tough as hell for the Boks to win. Stop talking and start showing. I dont want to see any friggin huffing and puffing on Saturday for starters.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-07-19 08:18

    We are not against old men, we are against men acting like old men on the field....

  • Steve - 2011-07-19 09:29

    Too old? The average age of the English team that won the 2003 World Cup was...wait for it;34!!!

  • Franswa - 2011-07-19 09:57

    Boy i have goosies all over,mate thats how you tell them with your action.Make us proud here in NZ

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