Smit arrives at Clermont

World Cup-winning South African captain John Smit arrived at Clermont-Ferrand on Saturday to join his new team.

Just two weeks after guiding the Springboks to the Webb Ellis Cup with a 15-6 win over England in the Final in Paris, Smit returned to France on Sunday and was greeted by compatriot and teammate Grant Esterhuizen.

The hooker was then presented to the home crowd ahead of Clermont’s 33-20 victory over Montpellier in the French Top 14 championship.

A delighted Smit spoke of the pandemonium back home in South Africa where the winning team has conducted a tour of their country to show off their prize.

“It was madness in our country. It was amazing and we wanted it to never end,” Smit told the crowd at Clermont before expressing his joy at joining a French club.

“This is the best thing that could happen to me. I chose Clermont because it’s a big club with impressive infrastructure.

“I’ve already spoken to several of my team-mates but I’m eager to find out more.”

Smit is likely to make his bow next weekend in the European Cup clash against Welsh outfit Llanelli.

However, he is looking to rejoin the Springboks later this month when they play Wales in Cardiff on November 24 and the Barbarians at Twickenham a week later.


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