2011 Rugby Fixtures

2011 Rugby Fixtures

 

2011 Rugby Fixtures.pdf

Green Point Stadium some pics

Captain in the Cauldron – The John Smit Story – my thoughts

I got given an advance copy of the book and started reading it as a huge skeptic as I wondered would we get a glossy make over or the truth. Wow what a sensational book…Short concise chapters filled with honest heart warming stories and brutal honesty on all levels.

We interview the author and great friend Mike Greenaway on Sat 14 Nov on Heart 104.9fm at 8.30am .

Short biog

Captain in the Cauldron – The John Smit Story

The longest serving captain in Springbok rugby history gives a revealing account of the simultaneous joys and travails of one of the most challenging – and rewarding – jobs in sport in this much anticipated autobiography.

The genial, jovial and witty Rugby World Cup-winning captain explains how a tubby kid from Pietersburg with dreams of winning Wimbledon grew into his country’s most successful rugby captain.

Smit, renowned for his honesty and humility, gives an eyebrow-raising account of the ambushes awaiting rugby celebrities in this country and offers the secret to his longevity in a sport that eats the naïve and gullible for breakfast.

About the author – Mike Greenaway

Smit tells his story to Mike Greenaway the award-winning sports writer from The Mercury newspaper in KZN. Greenaway has tracked Smit’s career from the day he arrived in Durban to join the Sharks as a 19-year-old after the Blue Bulls had shut the door in his face – and that is a chapter on its own!

john20smit20new20cover 400x4001

the book my great friend mike greenaway has written on Bok captain John Smit – book out 14 nov 2009

Captain in the Cauldron – The John Smit Story

The longest serving captain in Springbok rugby history gives a revealing account of the simultaneous joys and travails of one of the most challenging – and rewarding – jobs in sport in this much anticipated autobiography.

The genial, jovial and witty Rugby World Cup-winning captain explains how a tubby kid from Pietersburg with dreams of winning Wimbledon grew into his country’s most successful rugby captain.

Smit, renowned for his honesty and humility, gives an eyebrow-raising account of the ambushes awaiting rugby celebrities in this country and offers the secret to his longevity in a sport that eats the naïve and gullible for breakfast.

About the author – Mike Greenaway

Smit tells his story to Mike Greenaway the award-winning sports writer from The Mercury newspaper in KZN. Greenaway has tracked Smit’s career from the day he arrived in Durban to join the Sharks as a 19-year-old after the Blue Bulls had shut the door in his face – and that is a chapter on its own!

john20smit20new20cover 250x250

My great friend Mike Greenaway is writing a book on John Smit – the bok captain !!!

My great friend Mike Greenaway is writing a book on John Smit and he sent me this piece last night which appeared in the Natal Mercury today.. enjoy the read.

John Smit was recently asked about the complexities of captaining the Springboks and he used a Richie McCaw anecdote to illustrate the colourful path a national caption of this country must tread.

McCaw and Smit shared a room in London last year for a Barbarians match (imagine being a fly on the wall in that room?!) and each did their share of media duties in that time.

Smit recalls: “I was lying in bed doing an interview with an English newspaper, and I thought it was pretty standard fare we were going through, but when I hung up, a surprised Richie said: ‘Mate, I did not mean to eavesdrop on your call but was that an interview?!’ I said, ‘Yes …’ and he was astonished at the line of questioning which incorporated apartheid, the quota system, whether there was a difference in captaining different cultures and races and what my views were regarding the status of transformation of rugby in SA.”

It was at that point that Smit had confirmation that his job is one of the most unique in sport – leading a former “whites only” team in the New South Africa.

“It is an amazing responsibility,” Smit admits. “I often look at my fellow compatriots in New Zealand, Australia, etc and wonder how they would cope with captaining our country. I get the feeling the toughest part of their week is deciding whether to go for poles or not on Saturday.

“But I wouldn’t change my role for the world as I have learnt so much about my country and how special it is to be involved with all walks of life in the work that I do, and I truly believe it is our diverse nature that makes us a country of survivors. I am an Afro-optimist. We have come a long and difficult way and it amazes me that no matter what is thrown at our emerging nation, we still progress and prosper with every unfolding year.”

Smit on Saturday will earn the distinction of having captained an international team more often than any other person in the history of rugby football (60 matches as captain in 86 Tests).

And what makes that all the more special is the circumstances he has mentioned. To captain the rugby Springboks through six years of political turmoil and interference and still have the gas in the tank to lead the Boks to a Tri-Nations title (2004), a Rugby World Cup triumph (2007) and a series win over the British and Irish Lions elevates Smit into the company of South Africa’s Greatest Ever Sportsmen/women.

Jake White was once asked what made Smit such a good captain.

He said it was Smit’s understated but extremely powerful virtue of total honesty that won him friends and incurred no enemies. Smit, he says, disarms any potential dissenting voices with his completely natural and open leadership.

No agendas, no drama, just a regular guy who is very good at his job.

“Let me put it this way,” said White. “A Springbok team contains Afrikaners, Englishmen, coloureds and blacks. It has parochial foes in Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions. It is a recipe for war! Yet in all the years of John Smit’s captaincy, there has never been one unhappy customer, not one voice of rebellion against his leadership. He is the glue that holds the Springboks together. The man is a legend!”

***Elements of this column are based on an extract from John Smit’s autobiography, which will be published in November.
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