Tenacious loose-forward Kwagga Smith boasts an enviable versatility which is proving useful in the Springbok camp as they prepare to tackle Georgia in preparation for the upcoming British & Irish Lions series commencing next month.
Energetic as always, Smith’s foremost objective seems to be on the field of play and does not appear fazed about which number is on his back. Speaking to springboks.rugby, Smith said:
“I’ve played No 8 the whole season in Japan, and it obviously helped me in that position."
“I’ve also played on both sides of the scrum – in the World Cup I played No 7 and I played No 6 against New Zealand in a Rugby Championship game.
“So, I’d be fortunate to play in any one of those positions and I’ll do my best to perform. I am open to anything, and I’m really working hard on all the basics to make sure that, when that opportunity comes, I’m ready.
“There isn’t a position in the loose trio that I prefer, I just want the opportunity to be on the field and play with my best mates.
“We have a strong system where if you slot into one of those positions it will suit the way you play, so the coaches will look at that and assess where they want me.”
Smith currently has six test caps and was part of the 2019 World Cup winning squad in Japan. The 27 year-old was still a schoolboy when the Lions last prowled South Africa and has fond memories of the tour and, particularly, the exploits of one Heinrich Brüssow.
“I watched those games with Heinrich Brüssow in the Lions tour in 2009, and I was still at school then. I really looked up to him and he did really well in that series,” he said.
“He is one of my role models, so obviously I try to meet his standards and play well, but I am also a player in my own right and I’m a bit different, so I’ll definitely try to be an asset to the team and assist so that we can be successful.”
All in all, Smith seems to be enjoying his time in the Springbok set-up again.
“It’s really nice to train against world class players. It makes you a better player, so it has been awesome in camp.”