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.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch