Smit a doubt for Namibia warm-up
May 28, 2009
John Smit may be a doubt for South Africa's Lions warm-up © Getty Images
South African captain John Smit may have to withdraw from the South African XV side to play a Namibian Invitational XV in Windhoek on Friday night after his youngest child fell ill.
Smit was set to captain the side from the tighthead position but he returned to Durban on Wednesday to support his wife, Roxy, after his youngest son, Tyron (seven months old) became ill and was admitted to hospital.
The game would have held some importance for the Lions as this would have given them an opportunity to see Smit in his less favoured position at prop.
Once South Afrian coach Peter De Villiers heard the news about Smit's son, he sent the skipper home. He said: "John's child is ill and I told him to go home. His head will clearly not be in the right place if there is a serious illness in his family.
"John will fly to Windhoek on Thursday or Friday if he feels things are going all right at home. We won't force him. If he feels he should be with his family, we'll understand."
Despite Smit's absence, Springbok spokesperson Anthony MacKaiser was optimistic that the Sharks star would lead the team on Friday as planned.
"That's why no substitute has been appointed," he said.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup