John Smit takes the reins as Sharks chief

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The Sharks Super Rugby team have appointed former Springbok captain John Smit as their new chief executive.

The Durban-based Sharks announced yesterday that Smit will take over the role on 1 July, succeeding Brian van Zyl, who will stay on to mentor Smit until he retires in February.

Sharks chairman Stephen Saad said Smit’s appointment “marks the dawn of a new and exciting era at the Sharks”, adding: “We look forward to welcoming the favourite son of South African Rugby to his new role as CEO. We pledge our support and commitment to him.”

Smit gave up international rugby in 2011, when he left as South Africa’s most capped player with 111 Tests. He captained the Springboks in 83 tests, which is an international record and also played for the Sharks for over a decade.

The 35-year-old is currently playing for Saracens in England.