Let's Make It a Real Winning Send-Off for Our Departing Coach

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Let's Make It a Real Winning Send-Off for Our Departing Coach


World cup winner skipper John Smit has warned world rugby he has no intention of following Jake White out of the South Africa Test scene.

Smit will lead the Springboks into battle against Wales knowing it is an emotional occasion for White, who takes charge of the Springboks for the final time.

But Smit, who recently joined up with French club Clermont Auvergne, has no intention of retiring or following White through the exit door.

Smit said, "For me, it's quite simple. I have been very fortunate in my career. I have played many games, and I hope to play many more.

"I've remained available, but selection is not something you are owed or think you deserve.

"It is something if you are playing well enough and the people involved in the future of South African rugby decide you can play a role in what's coming, then certainly I would like to be a part of that.

"The only thing I can do is play the best I can for Clermont for the next year and a half while I am contracted there, and see what the future brings."

South Africa field nine of their World Cup final team against Wales, but Smit believes autumn events in France must be consigned to history.

He said, "Probably the most important thing to do is just forget about the World Cup. It's in the past.

"We worked hard to achieve it, and it's about what is ahead.

"There are many more challenges coming for South Africa, and the sooner we forget about the World Cup, the sooner we will be able to move forward.

"The responsibility that comes from having won it and having gained the ranking of world number one is something we need to work on on a daily basis.

"And that's where things start this weekend. …

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