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'Bulls didn't back me'

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There is certainly no love lost between Lions new recruit Roelof Smit and his former Super Rugby side the Bulls.


The 26-year-old flank burst onto the scene in 2016. He was selected for the Springboks tour of Europe and played against the Barbarians.

He was on the verge of being selected for the Springboks in 2018 but numerous injuries have hampered his promising career.

And his lack of game time at the Bulls, where he spent several years, certainly did not make things any easier.

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Angered and frustrated, Smit, who made the move across the Jukskei River to join the Lions ahead of the 2020 season, revealed why he left the Bulls.

“The main reason I came to the Lions was the lack of game time at the Bulls,” Smit told reporters, adding: “The Bulls didn’t back me.

“Yes, the last two or three years I did struggle with a few injuries, but the way I was treated this year [2019] made it so much worse. They didn’t even communicate with me.

“Going into 2019 I had huge expectations; was eager to work hard, I know what I can do and I was willing to sacrifice my body and really wanted to serve the team.


“However I didn’t get the opportunity and that is why I’m at the Lions now.”

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The former Junior Springbok added that despite not having big expectations,  he is happy to be at his new side and is eager to learn from the likes of Warren Whiteley.

“At the moment I just want to play rugby, I don’t really have big expectations. I’m just literally taking it day by day and enjoying my pre-season with the Lions.

“It already feels like I’ve been here for three years. I just want to learn from the likes of Warren Whiteley,”

He added: “The Lions work hard and I’m just very happy to be here. They work with you spiritually, physically and whatever level there is.”

The Lions kick off their Super Rugby campaign against Jaguares on February 2 in Beuness Aires followed by a fixture at home against the Reds.

By Leezil Hendricks



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