South African Rugby
Smit expected to make World Cup
August 14, 2011
John Smit is set to make the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
South Africa skipper John Smit is set to be fit for their Rugby World Cup defence despite sustaining an arm injury in Saturday's Tri-Nations loss to Australia in Durban.
The 33-year-old suffered the problem after switching to tight-head late in the game, with a South African Rugby Union (SARU) spokesperson confirming on Sunday that he is expected to be fit to take his place on the plane to New Zealand.
Further information on injuries to Smit, Frans Steyn (hamstring) and Danie Rossouw (shoulder) will be available to the Springboks on Monday, while head coach Peter de Villiers has called Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle into the squad prior to next weekend's meeting with the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth, along with Sharks playmaker Pat Lambie and winger Lwazi Mvovo.
"I sort of pushed the arm more back when I shifted to tight-head and went off as a precaution," Smit said. "It's probably nothing that elastoplast can't fix."
The Springboks face New Zealand in Port Elizabeth next weekend, their final runout before the World Cup gets underway. With three straight losses behind them and a number of senior players after added game-time, Smit expects a lift in performance.
"To lose is not something we are proud of, but there's a lot to draw from this," Smit said. "We'll have to work quite hard and take what we did well this week.
"The thing that's going to be the big positive is that some guys got through this week, they got through some match hardness and fitness and next week will be a different ball game."
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