John Smit
Full names: John William
Date of birth: 3 Apr 1978
Place of birth: Pietersburg
School: Pretoria Boys High
Springbok no: 691
Debut test province: Sharks
Physical: 1.88m, 116kg
Current age: 45

Test summary: Tests: 111 Tries: 8
First Test: 10 Jun 2000 Age:22 Reserve against Canada at Basil Kenyon Stadium, East London
Last Test: 9 Oct 2011 Age:33 Hooker against Australia at WestPac Stadium, Wellington
Test history:
10 Jun 200022ReserveCanadaWin: 51-18 Basil Kenyon Stadium, East LondonSharks
08 Jul 200022ReserveAustraliaLose: 23-44 Colonial Stadium (Telstra Dome), MelbourneSharks
22 Jul 200022ReserveNew ZealandLose: 12-25 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchSharks
29 Jul 200022ReserveAustraliaLose: 6-26 Stadium Australia, SydneySharks
19 Aug 200022ReserveNew ZealandWin: 46-40 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
26 Aug 200022ReserveAustraliaLose: 18-19 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
12 Nov 200022HookerArgentinaWin: 37-33 River Plate, Buenos AiresSharks
19 Nov 200022HookerIrelandWin: 28-18 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinSharks
26 Nov 200022HookerWalesWin: 23-13 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
02 Dec 200022HookerEnglandLose: 17-25 Twickenham, LondonSharks
16 Jun 200123HookerFranceLose: 23-32 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
23 Jun 200123HookerFranceWin: 20-15 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
30 Jun 200123HookerItalyWin: 60-14 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethSharks
21 Jul 200123ReserveNew ZealandLose: 3-12 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
28 Jul 200123ReserveAustraliaWin: 20-15 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
18 Aug 200123ReserveAustraliaDraw: 14-14 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
25 Aug 200123ReserveNew ZealandLose: 15-26 Eden Park, AucklandSharks
10 Nov 200123ReserveFranceLose: 10-20 Stade de France, ParisSharks
17 Nov 200123HookerItalyWin: 54-261 tryLuigi Ferraris Stadium, GenoaSharks
24 Nov 200123HookerEnglandLose: 9-29 Twickenham, LondonSharks
01 Dec 200123ReserveUSAWin: 43-20 Robertson Stadium, UH, HoustonSharks
11 Oct 200325ReserveUruguayWin: 72-6 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
18 Oct 200325ReserveEnglandLose: 6-25 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
24 Oct 200325Hooker (C)GeorgiaWin: 46-19 Sydney Football Stadium (Aussie stadium), SydneySharks
01 Nov 200325HookerSamoaWin: 60-10 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
08 Nov 200325HookerNew ZealandLose: 9-29 Colonial Stadium (Telstra Dome), MelbourneSharks
12 Jun 200426Hooker (C)IrelandWin: 31-17 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
19 Jun 200426Hooker (C)IrelandWin: 26-17 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
26 Jun 200426Hooker (C)WalesWin: 53-181 tryLoftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
17 Jul 200426Hooker (C)Pacific IslandsWin: 38-24 Central Coast Stadium, GosfordSharks
24 Jul 200426Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 21-23 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchSharks
31 Jul 200426Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 26-30 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
14 Aug 200426Hooker (C)New ZealandWin: 40-26 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
21 Aug 200426Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 23-19 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
06 Nov 200426Hooker (C)WalesWin: 38-36 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
13 Nov 200426Hooker (C)IrelandLose: 12-17 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinSharks
20 Nov 200426Hooker (C)EnglandLose: 16-32 Twickenham, LondonSharks
27 Nov 200426Hooker (C)ScotlandWin: 45-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks
04 Dec 200426Hooker (C)ArgentinaWin: 39-7 Velez Sarsfield Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
11 Jun 200527Hooker (C)UruguayWin: 134-3 Basil Kenyon Stadium, East LondonSharks
18 Jun 200527Hooker (C)FranceDraw: 30-30 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
25 Jun 200527Hooker (C)FranceWin: 27-13 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethSharks
09 Jul 200527Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 12-30 Stadium Australia, SydneySharks
23 Jul 200527Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 33-20 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
30 Jul 200527Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 22-16 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
06 Aug 200527Hooker (C)New ZealandWin: 22-16 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
20 Aug 200527Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 22-19 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
27 Aug 200527Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 27-31 Carisbrook, DunedinSharks
05 Nov 200527Hooker (C)ArgentinaWin: 34-23 Velez Sarsfield Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
19 Nov 200527Hooker (C)WalesWin: 33-16 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
26 Nov 200527Hooker (C)FranceLose: 20-26 Stade de France, ParisSharks
10 Jun 200628Hooker (C)ScotlandWin: 36-16 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
17 Jun 200628Hooker (C)ScotlandWin: 29-15 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethSharks
24 Jun 200628Hooker (C)FranceLose: 26-36 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
15 Jul 200628Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 0-49 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
22 Jul 200628Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 17-35 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
05 Aug 200628Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 18-20 Stadium Australia, SydneySharks
26 Aug 200628Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 26-45 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
02 Sep 200628Hooker (C)New ZealandWin: 21-20 Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgSharks
09 Sep 200628Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 24-16 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
11 Nov 200628Hooker (C)IrelandLose: 15-32 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinSharks
18 Nov 200628Hooker (C)EnglandLose: 21-23 Twickenham, LondonSharks
25 Nov 200628Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 25-14 Twickenham, LondonSharks
26 May 200729Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 58-10 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
02 Jun 200729Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 55-22 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
09 Jun 200729Hooker (C)SamoaWin: 35-81 tryEllispark, JohannesburgSharks
16 Jun 200729Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 22-19 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
09 Sep 200729Hooker (C)SamoaWin: 59-7 Parc des Princes, ParisSharks
14 Sep 200729Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 36-0 Stade de France, ParisSharks
22 Sep 200729ReserveTongaWin: 30-25 Stade Felix Bollaert, LensSharks
30 Sep 200729Hooker (C)USAWin: 64-15 Stade de la Mosson, MontpellierSharks
07 Oct 200729Hooker (C)FijiWin: 37-201 tryStade Velodrome, MarseillesSharks
14 Oct 200729Hooker (C)ArgentinaWin: 37-13 Stade de France, ParisSharks
20 Oct 200729Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 15-6 Stade de France, ParisSharks
24 Nov 200729Hooker (C)WalesWin: 34-12 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
07 Jun 200830Hooker (C)WalesWin: 43-17 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinClermont
14 Jun 200830Hooker (C)WalesWin: 37-21 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaClermont
05 Jul 200830Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 8-19 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
08 Nov 200830Tight-head Prop (C)WalesWin: 20-15 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
15 Nov 200830Tight-head Prop (C)ScotlandWin: 14-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks
22 Nov 200830Hooker (C)EnglandWin: 42-6 Twickenham, LondonSharks
20 Jun 200931Tight-head Prop (C)BritainWin: 26-211 tryKingspark, DurbanSharks
27 Jun 200931Tight-head Prop (C)BritainWin: 28-25 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
04 Jul 200931Tight-head Prop (C)BritainLose: 9-28 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
25 Jul 200931Tight-head Prop (C)New ZealandWin: 28-19 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
01 Aug 200931Tight-head Prop (C)New ZealandWin: 31-19 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
08 Aug 200931Tight-head Prop (C)AustraliaWin: 29-17 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
29 Aug 200931Tight-head Prop (C)AustraliaWin: 32-25 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
05 Sep 200931Tight-head Prop (C)AustraliaLose: 6-21 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
12 Sep 200931Tight-head Prop (C)New ZealandWin: 32-29 Waikato Stadium, HamiltonSharks
13 Nov 200931Tight-head Prop (C)FranceLose: 13-201 tryStade Municipal, ToulouseSharks
21 Nov 200931Tight-head Prop (C)ItalyWin: 32-10 Stadio Friuli, UdineSharks
28 Nov 200931Hooker (C)IrelandLose: 10-15 Croke Park, DublinSharks
05 Jun 201032Hooker (C)WalesWin: 34-31 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
12 Jun 201032Hooker (C)FranceWin: 42-17 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
26 Jun 201032Hooker (C)ItalyWin: 55-11 Basil Kenyon Stadium, East LondonSharks
10 Jul 201032Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 12-32 Eden Park, AucklandSharks
17 Jul 201032Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 17-31 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
24 Jul 201032Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 13-30 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
21 Aug 201032Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 22-29 National Stadium, JohannesburgSharks
28 Aug 201032Hooker (C)AustraliaWin: 44-31 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
04 Sep 201032Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 39-41 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
23 Jul 201133Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 20-391 tryStadium Australia, SydneySharks
30 Jul 201133Hooker (C)New ZealandLose: 7-401 tryWestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
13 Aug 201133Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 9-14 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
20 Aug 201133ReserveNew ZealandWin: 18-5 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSharks
11 Sep 201133Hooker (C)WalesWin: 17-16 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
17 Sep 201133Hooker (C)FijiWin: 49-3 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks
22 Sep 201133Hooker (C)NamibiaWin: 87-0 North Harbour Stadium, North Shore CitySharks
30 Sep 201133ReserveSamoaWin: 13-5 North Harbour Stadium, North Shore CitySharks
09 Oct 201133Hooker (C)AustraliaLose: 9-11 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonSharks

John Smit - captain without peer : Wim van der Berg

John Smit holds just about every South African test and captaincy record. The most auspicious is that of having captained the Springboks 76 times, a world test record. He has been South Africa's first choice captain since he was appointed by World Cup winning coach Jake White in 2004, and has only been absent on rare occasions because of injury.

John William Smit was born in Pietersburg in 1978 and went to Pretoria Boys High School. He was head prefect in 1996 and played in the First XV from 1994 to 1996. Smit then represented the Blue Bulls at Craven Week, played SA Schools and led the South African Under-21 side to the SANZAR/UAR title in 1999 at tighthead prop.

John lives in Durban with his wife Roxane, their daughter Emma-Joan and son Tyron, where he plays his provincial and Super Rugby with the Natal Sharks and the Sharks respectively. Smit's biography, Captain in the Cauldron - The John Smit Story, written by Mike Greenaway, appeared in 2009.

He holds Springbok records for most tests as captain (76), which is also a world record; is South Africa's most capped hooker (80) and most capped Springbok forward (102).

Between October 2003 and June 2007, Smit played in a record 46 consecutive test matches for South Africa, though it was only in 2004, when he was made captain by White that he became a regular member of the starting XV.

Smit took South Africa to the 2007 Rugby World Cup and led South Africa to a series victory against the visiting British and Irish Lions for the 2009 Tri-Nations title when South Africa won five of their six matches, including a clean sweep of three wins against New Zealand.

At the end of 2010, Smit was South Africa's fourth most successful captain (after Morné du Plessis, Joost van der Westhuizen and Gary Teichmann), having led the Springboks to victory in 51 of the 76 tests (one drawn) that he captained, a win percentage of 67,1%. He has won more tests as captain than any other Springbok has played as captain.

After the 2007 World Cup, Smit signed a two-year deal with Clermont. After just a year with them he rejoined the Sharks.

Salient facts:

  • Position: Hooker and prop
  • Club: Crusaders RFC
  • Provinces: Sharks and Natal Sharks (since 2000);
    Clermont-Auvergne, France (2008)
  • Springbok number: 691
  • Test debut: 10 June 2000 versus Canada in East London, aged 22
  • Total tests: 102
  • Tour matches: 1
  • Total Springbok tours: Argentina, Ireland, Wales and England, 2000; France, Italy, England and USA, 2001; RWC in Australia, 2003; British Isles, Ireland and Argentina, 2004; Argentina, Wales and France, 2005; Ireland and England, 2006; Ireland and Scotland, 2007; RWC in France, Wales and Scotland, 2007; Wales, 2007; Wales, Scotland and Ireland, 2008; Wales, Scotland and Ireland, 2009; France, Italy, Ireland and England, 2009
  • Tour captain: Smit was captain of Springbok touring teams to British Isles, Ireland and Argentina, 2004; Argentina, Wales and France, 2005; Ireland and England, 2006; Ireland and Scotland, 2007; RWCin France, Wales and Scotland, 2007; British Isles, 2008; France, Italy, Ireland and England, 2009
  • He was SA Rugby Young Player of the Year nominee in 1999 and voted Players' Player of the Year in 2005.