John Smit has slammed those who continue to spread conspiracy theories about his injury.
The Springbok captain missed all but 10 minutes of the Tri Nations and has been forced to sit out the warm-up matches against Namibia, Connacht and Scotland.
Some media reports have suggested that Smit has a spleen injury which is likely to keep him sidelined until the latter stages of the World Cup. It has also been reported that the Springbok management have been covering this up.
But Smit vehemently denied those rumours, explaining that he would play a full role in the World Cup campaign.
“My family back home phoned me in Galway about the conspiracy theories doing the rounds. Frankly, it’s disappointing that there is this mischief-making on the eve of the World Cup,” Smit told The Mercury’s Mike Greenaway.
“I find it very negative that people make things up that have no basis in truth. Let me set the record straight. I have a hamstring injury. That’s it, and at a push I could have played against Scotland.”
Smit explained that he had aggravated the original hamstring tear [sustained against Australia in the Tri Nations] in training camp prior to the Namibia Test.
“The thing is, it is in a different part of the hamstring to the first injury, which was a grade one tear. At the captain’s practice I could still feel it and pulled out of the match. I have played with worse hamstring pain, but felt that there was no need to take unnecessary risk.”
Smit set himself to play against Connacht and Scotland but felt “a tweak” in the hamstring on a run prior to the match in Galway.
“As soon as I felt that pain, I made peace with the fact that I would not play again until the first round of the World Cup, although Thursday in Peebles I was running pain free and I reckon I would have been fine to play against Scotland. But it was a bit late in the week and and again, why take a risk?”