Lions talisman Kwagga Smith has pulled out of the Springbok Sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games next month to rather concentrate on Super Rugby.
Smith, who has been a stalwart of the Sevens game for the past five years, has decided to withdraw in the light of the injury to fellow Lions flanker Jaco Kriel, and to chase his dream of becoming a Springbok fifteens player.
The flanker, who has become a cult figure at Ellis Park of late, is unlikely to play much more Sevens as he has also signed a contract to play for the Lions until the end of Super Rugby next season, and therefore wants to concentrate on the fifteens game.
Smith believes the injury to Kriel changed the outlook, especially after the Springbok had to undergo a second shoulder operation and will be out for the rest of Super Rugby. That means there will be an extended run for Smith in his absence.
“We all sat around a table and spoke about it. We said that if Jaco Kriel is ready to play then it makes sense, and I can go. But it doesn’t help I go there and I get an injury and then we are sitting here with a problem at the Lions,” Smith told the supersport.com website.
“So I said to coach Neil where my goals are, and what will happen if something like that happens. It is unlucky that Jaco had to get an operation again, so I think it is not going to happen that I will be released to play in the Commonwealth Games.”
Smith elaborated further that he wants to play as much as he can to give himself as much chance as possible to become a Springbok fifteens player later in the year.
“Ja no, definitely that is why we sat around the table and made decisions. For me personally it doesn’t help I want to become a Springbok but I already missed one game against the Bulls and then I don’t become a Springbok,” he added.
Smith is set to line up against the Sunwolves at Ellis Park this weekend.