UPDATE: Allister Coetzee has dismissed reports indicating that former Springbok captain John Smit could turn out for the Cape franchise in this year’s Super Rugby competition.
Former Springbok skipper John Smit is poised to make a dramatic return to Super Rugby this season.
According to Wednesday’s Cape Times, due to a hooker crisis at the Stormers, Smit’s name is being bandied about as a possible short-term solution to the Cape side’s No 2 woes.
Deon Fourie – who played the majority of last year’s Currie Cup campaign at loose forward – is expected to start at hooker in the Stormers’ opening Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, February 22 (kick-off is at 19:10).
However, the back-up to Fourie remains uncertain.
OTHER NEWS: Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar is among 15 players nominated for the European Player of the Year award. He was named on the longlist following the conclusion of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup pool stages. Pienaar is the only South African on this list.
Tiaan Liebenberg sustained a back injury last October and has only recently been eased back into taking contact during the Stormers’ pre-season training camp in Hermanus.
Making matters worse, the Stormers’ worst fears were realised when 21-year-old star Scarra Ntubeni was forced to undergo surgery on his shoulder on Tuesday, and is expected to be out of action for up to three months.
And that is where Smit comes in…
Smit, 33, who has 111 Springbok caps to his name, is currently the understudy to Schalk Brits at Saracens in England, and is believed to be on his way to French Top 14 giants Toulon next season, but could make a “pit stop” in Cape Town on a loan basis