Smit against Robshaw captaincy call

Date published: August 23 2014

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Former Springbok captain John Smit disagrees with England skipper Chris Robshaw stepping down at Harlequins.

Former South African World Cup-winning captain John Smit disagrees with England skipper Chris Robshaw stepping down at Harlequins.

England prop Joe Marler has been named as captain of the London club for the new campaign, to ease the pressure on Robshaw ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

Smit however believes that the more captaincy practice available for Robshaw the better.

“I'm not so sure that's helpful for Chris to stand down at his club,” Smit told Press Association Sport.

“Captaincy's like anything, the more you do it, the more you practise, the easier it becomes, and the better you get.

“So I'm not so sure that's something I might have prescribed.

“In a World Cup year you want to be right on your game, and there's an art to captaincy as well, and so to fine-tune that art every year is important.

“So I'm not so sure that's the best decision ever.”

Smit added that he thought England would pose a major threat in 2015, based around the mentailty instilled in the squad by Stuart Lancaster.

“I think England are one of the strong contenders for the title to be honest,” added Smit.

“Lancaster has changed a lot of the culture of the team, and he's got an unbelievable pack of forwards.

“They are absolutely more dangerous with their new humble attitude, and I think they've already shown that.

“We've already seen a team that's full of no-nonsense attitude: we've seen a no-tolerance approach from Lancaster in terms of prima donnas.

“We've seen what he's done in terms of Danny Care, who's a great player: he's managed to make Danny understand what's required to be in the squad.

“And a team with that amount of talent, with a no-nonsense attitude, is going to be a massive threat.”

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