John Smit

Sports Speaker and Former Rugby Player - Johannesburg
John Smit Sports Speaker


About John Smit: A Rugby Legend

Early Life - John William Smit, born on 3 April 1978 in Pietersburg, South Africa (now Polokwane, South Africa), emerged as a rugby legend with an illustrious career spanning decades. His journey began at Fields College in Rustenburg and continued at Pretoria Boys High School, where he excelled both academically and on the rugby field. Springbok Career Smit's introduction to the Springbok rugby union team in 2000 marked the beginning of an extraordinary career. His early appearances showcased his talent, but it wasn't until 2004, under the leadership of coach Jake White, that Smit became a regular member of the starting XV. His record-breaking run of 46 consecutive Test matches for South Africa between 2003 and 2007 established him as a stalwart of the team.

However, his incredible streak came to an end due to an injury during the 2007 Tri-Nations. Despite this setback, Smit's determination led him to participate in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Here, his leadership qualities shone through, and South Africa secured their second William Web Ellis Trophy.

Smit's leadership continued to flourish under coach Peter de Villiers, who re-appointed him as the captain of the national side. Smit's captaincy achievements are nothing short of remarkable. As of September 2009, he boasted a win percentage of 72%, leading the Springboks to victory in 46 of the 64 games he captained.

In August 2010, Smit reached a historic milestone, playing his 100th Test, becoming only the 15th player ever and the second South African to achieve this feat.

International Tries Smit's contribution to the Springbok legacy extended beyond his leadership. He made a significant impact with his tries, scoring in crucial matches against formidable opponents. Notable among these were his tries against Italy, Wales, Samoa, Fiji, the British and Irish Lions, France, Australia, and New Zealand.

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More About John Smit

Clermont and Return to Sharks During the lead-up to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Smit was linked with the French club Clermont and eventually signed a two-year deal, effective after the World Cup. Despite his move to France, the South African Rugby Union announced that he would retain his Boks captaincy.

After a year with Clermont, Smit returned to the Sharks and the Super 14 side, demonstrating his commitment to South African rugby.

South Africa Honors as Captain John Smit's tenure as captain brought immense success to South African rugby. Under his leadership, the Springboks secured notable victories, including the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the Tri-Nations in 2004 and 2009. His remarkable career as a player and captain earned him a place in the IRB Hall of Fame, alongside other World Cup-winning captains and head coaches.

John Smit's legacy in the world of rugby is one of dedication, resilience, and remarkable leadership. He remains an enduring figure in South African rugby history, inspiring future generations of players and fans alike.


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