Coetzee trashes talk of Smit SOS

Allister Coetzee insists John Smit is not getting an SOS from him to join the Stormers.

Smit was reported as a possibility to help out the Stormers because of a hooker crisis.

Smit, who has played for Saracens for the last two years, is considering a move to Toulon on a one-year contract, but the Cape Times newspaper on Wednesday reported Smit as a short-term back-up to Deon Fourie.

Fourie, who has signed to play in Europe after the Super Rugby season, will start at hooker but his understudy Scarra Ntubeni will be out for three months because of a shoulder operation and there is concern about Tiaan Liebenberg’s fitness. Liebenberg is still struggling with a long-term back injury.

Coetzee told the Cape media he was considering an experienced South African-based hooker and that there had been no approach to Smit.

Coetzee said the nature of Super Rugby demanded two experienced hookers and one youngster and that it would be too risky to go with two youngsters and just the experience of Fourie.

He said an announcement would be made in the week once terms had been agreed.

Smit would not be a bad option, despite the vehement denials.

He has done a fantastic job at Saracens, in easing the workload on Schalk Brits and also in mentoring the club’s next generation of hooker and front ranker. He is still on contract with Saracens in February and the Stormers have a partnership with Saracens which has seen them release Brits in the past to help out the Stormers.

Smit captained the Boks to World Cup glory in 2007 and played the last of his 111 Tests for South Africa against Australia in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final exit.

He has played his rugby in South Africa exclusively for the Sharks and also spent 18 months playing for Clermont in France after the 2007 World Cup.

By Mark Keohane