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Smit and Smith: Smitten by South Africa's Rugby and Cricket World Beaters

by Greg Smith on 05 February 2009.

South African sport is in a bit of a purple patch at the minute. One, two, three . . . the top three South African sports, football, cricket and rugby union are literally on top of the world.

South Africa's squad of rugby world champions  just have to look sideways to see they are flanked by the Bafana Bafana (the SA national football squad) hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and by Graeme Smith's Proteas, the number ones of world cricket.

It's inspiring stuff and 2009 is a year the Springboks will earmark as a launching pad for their successful World Cup defence in 2011. As it stands their season looks, once again, like the most intense on offer. They start off the season with home Tests against the British Lions before getting stuck into their regular South Sea foes, Australia and New Zealand. Tack France and Italy onto this and they've managed to secure the best preparatory line-up for 2010 and 2011.

Cricket in South Africa is riding on the leadership of inspirational 27-year-old Graeme Smith and, like cricket, the Springboks have John Smit.

Smit, like Smith, will be the kingpin of South Africa's bid to retain the RWC in 2011 and has opted to move to prop forward to add as much value as possible to his extended stay in the squad

I think Smit has done the right thing as he's killing two birds with one stone. Like Graeme Smith he's probably the best inspirational captain in rugby and now that he's bulked up an extra 10-15 kilos, he's a very experienced and powerful front rower.

Like with the cricket, many naysayers have all but written off the Springboks for 2011 and I'm left with a wry smile. Come 2011, the Springboks are going to write a new chapter in RWC history. They're striving to be the first to successfully retain their title. Who'll be so brave as to bet against them?

Tags:South Africa Rugby
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