THREE years ago, The Rep wrote an article about former Hoërskool Hangklip pupil Roelof Smit, then still finding his way to the Blue Bulls – and this week it was announced that Smit is in the Springbok squad.
Komani can be proud of the achievements of both Smit and another Komani product and former Queen’s College pupil, Reagan Oranje, over the weekend.
Smit’s inclusion into the Springbok touring squad to Europe is a major boost for rugby for the entire Komani, Hangklip and Border region.
A couple of years ago he was on the fringes of being selected for the Blue Bulls Super Rugby squad, after going through the ranks. He was a constant member of the Bulls U21 team and made his breakthrough to the Bulls Vodacom squad before playing in the top tier South African rugby competition, the Currie Cup.
It was always the flanker’s dream to first play in the best rugby competition in the world, the Super Rugby competition and he achieved that with stellar performances.
This achievement led to him cementing the fetcher role in the Bulls Currie Cup campaign. He had a monstrous game in the semi-final against Western Province, before losing the Currie Cup final to the Cheetahs last weekend. He did enough to convince Bok coach Alistair Coetzee and his technical team to select him for the Europe tour.
His mother Ester Smit also talked fondly of her son’s achievements a couple of years ago, and can now be even more proud that he has achieved his ultimate dream of representing his country.
Smit’s first taste of international rugby will come against the Barbarians in their first tour match next Saturday, November 5. That will be followed up by matches against England, Italy and Wales.
Several promising young players who have a shot to prominence on the domestic scene this year have been included in the 30-man Springbok squad for the international clash against the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium. The uncapped players, including Smit are, Lizo Gqoboka, RG Snyman, Tian Schoeman, and Jumbo Ulengo (all Blue Bulls), Thomas du Toit, Jean-Luc du Preez (both Sharks), Uzair Cassiem, Francois Venter and Sergeal Petersen (Cheetahs) and Cheslin Kolbe from Western Province.
It is a big opportunity for Smit to stake a claim for the Bok jersey and help the ailing Springbok side back to where it belongs – at the top of world rugby.
Another remarkable achievement is that of former Queenian, Reagan Oranje, who helped the Blue Bulls team to the national 7s championship title. The Blue Bulls U21 player is steadily making a name for himself up north. Will he follow in the footsteps of Smit and one day become the latest Springbok from this area?