South Africa Rugby
Smit: Burger should lead Boks
ESPNscrum Staff
January 10, 2012
South Africa's Schalk Burger gets held up short of the line, Australia v South Africa, Rugby World Cup quarter-final, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, October 9, 2011
Schalk Burger is an influential figure in the Springboks camp © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Schalk Burger | John Smit
Tournaments/Tours: Super Rugby

Former South Africa skipper John Smit is backing Schalk Burger to succeed him as Springbok captain.

Smit quit international rugby after the World Cup in New Zealand, having won 111 caps for South Africa, and believes Burger is the ideal man to replace him as Springboks skipper.

Burger, 28, has won 68 international caps since making his debut in 2003 and is currently skipper of the Stormers in Super Rugby.

Smit, who is currently in South Africa with Aviva Premiership side Saracens, told Die Burger: "I have been involved in talks about my successor since 2008. There might be a young player who performs well and is awarded the captaincy, but my money is on Schalk.

"He has the most experience and is the one who commands the most respect among the Boks. It will be the smoothest transition. He is a hard worker, tough as nails and he understands people."

Smit was less committal about who should be South Africa's new head coach after Peter De Villiers' contract with the South Africa Rugby Union expired following the World Cup.

"I'm sure the decision has been made already," he said. "The South African Rugby Union (SARU) were smart in not making the announcement yet as they have been criticised for impulsive decisions in the past."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.