Springboks

Rovigo to hold minute of silence for ex-Bok Smith

2016-05-05 13:31
Nelie Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Italian club Rovigo will hold a minute’s silence before their next match in honour of former coach, Nelie Smith.

READ: Two memorial services for former Bok Nelie Smith

READ: Willie John McBride pays tribute to Nelie Smith

Smith, also a former Springbok captain and coach, died on Monday at the age of 81.

Smith is a popular man at the Italian club having coach them between 1986 and 1989, winning the Italian national title in the 1987/88 season.

One of the famous players which Smith lured to play for Rovigo was Naas Botha, the legendary former Springbok flyhalf.

Apart from his stint in Italy, Smith made great strides in South African rugby.

He played seven Tests for the Springboks and captained them in four of those. His debut was in 1963 against Australia and his first Test as captain against France a year later.

He also captained the Springboks against Australia and New Zealand in 1965 and scored a try and three penalties for 12 Test points. Smith also played in 12 tour matches for South Africa.

As Springbok coach in 1980-81, Smith won 12 of 15 Tests.

He also served as a Springbok selector for a decade (1971-81).

At provincial level, Smith and Sakkie van Zyl coached Orange Free State to their first Currie Cup title in 1976.

Smith played for Free State in 60 matches between 1956 and 1965 and captained them in 37 matches. He also played for Griquas in four matches in 1966.

Smith also coached the likes of Eastern Province and Northern Free State, as well as Ballymena in Ireland.

Smith is survived by daughters Carin, Annien and son Cornelius.

Read more on:    springboks  |  nelie smith  |  rugby
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