Smit set for Sharks top job

Date published: April 11 2013

John Smit would be an “outstanding” choice as the new Sharks CEO, according to current Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths.

John Smit would be an “outstanding” choice as the new Sharks CEO, according to former SARU CEO and current Saracens boss Edward Griffiths.

On Wednesday, Durban's The Mercury newspaper reported that the Saracens hooker is poised is return to his former side as the successor to current CEO Brian van Zyl when he retires next February.

The newspaper reported that “top sources” had confirmed that the 2007 World Cup-winning skipper's appointment “is a fait accompli” and will be ratified at a Sharks council meeting on Monday.

The 35-year-old, 111 Test-cap front-rower is believed to have signed with Toulon for next season but the Sharks have reportedly negotiated Smit's release from that contract.

If the return to Durban is goes through, Smit will be the youngest executive officer of a South African Super Rugby franchise.

Griffiths believes Smit's appointment would be a progressive move for the game in South Africa.

“If that was to come about it would be an outstanding appointment,” Griffiths told Press Association Sport.

“It would also be a great step forward for South African rugby to bring into a leading administrative position somebody who has recently retired from the game.

“That hasn't been the pattern in South African rugby. In fact, it hasn't really been the pattern in rugby anywhere because rugby can be a game where the upper echelons of administration are clogged up by, for want of a better word, blazers.

“I think it would be a breath of fresh air for South African rugby and big step forward.

“Every business, every club is essentially about communication and bringing people together behind common goals,” added Griffiths.

“He has proven with the Springboks and others that he is brilliantly skilled at that. He is an individual of the very highest quality.

“Whether you are talking about an international bank or a rugby club, any organisation would be in good hands if it was led by John Smit.”

Smit is the most capped Springbok in history and captained the national team a record 83 times.