Last night we were delighted to be joined by John Smit along with some of our members and sponsors to celebrate John Smit’s career over dinner. Thank you to The Queen’s Club for hosting the dinner and for putting on a wonderful meal. It was a memorable evening, and we were happy to finally present centurion and custodian John Smit with his honour cap.
The former Springbok captain enjoyed an 11-year career with the international side playing 111 times during that period scoring 40 points, he primarily earned his caps as a hooker but would earn a handful of caps as a prop, the position he had played in the youth sides. When he retired, he had played the more games as captain than any other international player, a record that fellow centurions Brian O’Driscoll and Richie McCaw would go on to break. During his time as captain Smit led his side to success in the 2007 Rugby World cup, beating reigning champions England in the final 15-6, a final in which no tries were scored. Smit also found success in the Tri-nations in ’04 and ’09 as well as a victory over the touring British and Irish Lions also in 2009.
John has played a huge role in rugby centurions having a role in the creation of the club back in 2017. And speaking on the club he said for him and other players the club was about “not taking the 1st, 50th or 100th cap for granted and being grateful for the opportunity I had.” And in a similar light speaking on our goal of inspiring the next generation he said giving back is so important so the next generation can be provided with the same opportunity (as himself).
A big thank you to Avanti Communications for joining us and presenting John with his honour cap. Avanti are a world-leading provider of agile and secure satellite technology across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We are looking forward to working closely with Avanti over the next year in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup as they are set to be the main sponsor of our dinner in Paris before the quarter final.