Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Only a win will do for Smit

John Smit may be about to win his 100th Test cap but the South Africa captain knows the occasion will be anything but special if his side fail to deliver the right result.

The Springboks face one of their toughest assignments under the leadership of the 32-year-old - they head into a match against New Zealand desperate to end a three-game losing streak. That run of results has left them bottom of the Tri-Nations table, a title they won last year, and with no chance of defending the crown.

"It's going to be an awesome experience," said Smit, who will become the first South African forward and second player overall to reach the century mark after Percy Montgomery. "There is only one team I could have picked to play in my 100th game, and that's the All Blacks. But the result is certainly more important than one guy running out for his 100th game."

The occasion has been made even more special by the South African Rugby Union (SARU), who have switched from the regular Johannesburg venue of Ellis Park to the 90,000 FNB Stadium - more famously known as Soccer City, where football's World Cup final was recently played.

It means a first ever Test match in the township of Soweto and the biggest crowd at a local rugby game since 1955, when the Springboks played the British and Irish Lions at Ellis Park in front of 95,000.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph