Smit predicts tight tussle

 Nov 21,2012
Written by: Editor

Former Springbok captain John Smit expects Saturday's Test between his countrymen and England at Twickenham to be a tight match.

The two sides will know a lot about each other after meeting during a three-Test series in South Africa earlier this year.

And although the Boks won the series 2-0, Smit expects England to be encouraged by their performances, especially in the last Test which ended in a 14-14 draw.

"I do see it being close again on Saturday," Smit told Sky Sports.

"England will take confidence from their draw in Port Elizabeth and will be looking to build on that at home."

The Saracens front-rower believes there are similarities between the two squads with England coach Stuart Lancaster and Bok counterpart Heyneke Meyer both in charge of inexperienced squads.

"Both squads are in a similar situation," Smit added.

"They both have new coaches that are building young squads with a view to the future.

"They are gaining valuable experience all the time and both have huge potential and have showed signs of improvements.

"I think both teams have squads that can develop towards the World Cup but they will have to start to deliver results.

"I can see from the England squad that they have got some good players who are working hard. They have a belief in their coach and what he is trying to do and that is crucial."

Smit praised his Saracens team-mates Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell and predicted that they will have bright futures for England.

"I think I know more about the England players now from my time at Sarries and playing against the clubs here," Smit said.

"Mako Vunipola is an exciting inclusion for England, he is an exciting player. I have watched how hard he has worked to get to this stage. He looks like he could be a real talent.

"Owen Farrell has got everything. He has a brilliant quality about him. He has great hands, he can kick beautifully and he is solid in defence."

Tags: Springboks |  South Africa | 

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