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Smit to lead World XV at KP


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks on 17 Mar 2012 at 21:20
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Former Sharks and Springbok Captain John Smit will be returning to Mr. Price KINGS PARK on Friday June 22 to lead a World Invitational XV against his former team, The Sharks.

Michael Marnewick editor of Sharksrugby.co.za writes that the match is Smit’s farewell and thank you to Sharks and Springbok supporters who have loyally followed and supported his rugby career over the past 11 years.

The organisers of the event have assembled a team of some of the best players from around the world that include some of his former Sharks and Springbok teammates, notably Johann Muller, RuanPienaar, Percy Montgomery and BJ Botha. Former Australian loose forward Phil Waugh and Kiwis Luke McAllister and Doug Howlett will also feature. The balance of the team will include internationals from England, USA, France and Italy.

“I wanted the opportunity to say my final rugby farewell to fans, and this match is my way to also say thank you to those who have supported me over the years”, said John at the press conference held at Mr. Price KINGS PARK to announce the match.

“We will also be using the game to launch my new foundation The John Smit Foundation, and begin the fundraising efforts for it”, said John.

The assembled team will also be known as Barney’s Army, a name derived from John’s nickname, Barney. Coach for the team will be Ian MacIntosh, who was John’s first professional coach at The Sharks.

“I have enjoyed a wonderful professional career that had its beginnings in Durban with The Sharks and then, of course, carried through into the Springboks. To be able to have the game here is very special to me and to have the caliber of international players who have agreed to play, very touching. Some are former foes, some are my best mates, it’s very exciting. I am also very grateful to The Sharks management for embracing this event and agreeing to host it at my old stomping ground. I can’t wait to run out once more at Mr. Price KINGS PARK.”

The match takes place at the end of The Sharks one-month mid-season break and will also give the local team game time ahead of returning to Super Rugby action.

“John has been a loyal and faithful servant to rugby in KwaZulu-Natal and The Sharks team, so it is fitting that we are able to give him this opportunity to play once more at Mr. Price KINGS PARK, albeit in the Barney’s Army jersey”, said Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl.

“Logistics regarding tickets sales and further event information are still being finalised, and more information will be released shortly. But one thing that can be guaranteed is that the event will have all the fun, action and entertainment that we have become world-renowned for here in Durban”, concluded The Sharks CEO.

The match will take place on Friday June 22. Tickets for the event will be available via The Sharks ticketing office, details to be released shortly.

The John Smit Foundation will be the beneficiary of all funds raised from ticket sales. The Foundation aims to support a number of charities in South Africa, in both the rugby and social spheres. These include The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Fund, The Bobbi Bear Foundation and LIV. The foundation will be managed by Benmar Investments, headed by Terry Rosenberg and Trevor Boynton.

A gala dinner will also be held in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday June 27 to raise funds for the Foundation.

For further information about these events and The John Smit Foundation, log onto www.Barneysarmy.co.za



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