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Smit stays as Springbok's skipper


John Smit

John Smit

John Smit

John Smit has been retained as South Africa captain for the upcoming international season, with Victor Matfield also remaining as vice captain.

Smit will lead the Springboks in the Tri-Nations, which begins against Australia in Sydney on July 23, with his appointment also likely to see him again captain his country in their World Cup title defence in the autumn.

Smit, the most-capped Test captain of all time, was in charge when South Africa won the 2007 World Cup by beating England in the Paris final. He said: "The responsibility comes with a great deal of pressure and expectation but it never loses the thrill or the sense of privilege that comes with it."

He added: "I'm humbled by the faith the coach has placed in me and the duty to our country that comes with it."

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers added: "John and Victor have an unbelievable amount of experience and we're fortunate to be able to name them as captain and vice captain.

"They are outstanding players in their positions and to have both still available in a Rugby World Cup year is a great boost for South African rugby. They are hugely respected in world rugby and have a massive influence on the teams in which they play.

"History has shown that teams that do well at Rugby World Cups have experience and outstanding leadership and we've learnt in the past that you throwaway that experience at your peril."

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