South Africa’s Kwagga Smith and RG Snyman celebrate after the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final match. Image: EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

The Springboks’ turnover KING is back!

Kwagga Smith set to return for Springboks against Ireland in July after recovering from injury, boosting the team’s chances in the series.


South Africa’s Kwagga Smith and RG Snyman celebrate after the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final match. Image: EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Double Rugby World Cup-winning back-rower Kwagga Smith is poised to make his return to the Springboks for their two Test matches against Ireland in July.

The 30-year-old has been sidelined since January after suffering an adductor tendon rupture while playing for the Shizuoka Blue Revs in the Japan Rugby League One season.

Smith Declares Himself ‘100% Comfortably’ Fit

Despite the injury ending his Japanese season prematurely, Smith has declared himself ready to go for the Springboks if called upon for the first Test against Ireland.

“I’m back in South Africa and definitely ready for the [Irish] tests,” Smith told Afrikaans newspaper Rapport. “I trained 100% comfortably with my team in Japan a month ago.”

Initially, his club predicted a five-month recovery period, and it appears that Smith is on track to meet this timeline.

While it remains unclear if he will be fit in time to face Wales at Twickenham Stadium on 22 June, his return to full fitness is a significant boost for the series against Ireland.

Kwagga Smith’s Potential Role in the Springboks Squad

With Jasper Wiese facing a six-match ban following his red card in his final Leicester Tigers appearance, Smith’s availability becomes even more crucial for the Springboks.

Head coach Rassie Erasmus may turn to Smith to fill the number eight slot, a position he has featured in multiple times off the bench and has started in on three occasions in Tests.

Smith’s impressive performance off the bench for the Springboks in 2023, winning more breakdown and jackal turnovers than any other player in club and international rugby last year, further solidifies his value to the team.

Springboks Facing Injury Concerns Ahead of Ireland Tests

While Smith’s return is a positive development for the Springboks, the team is facing several injury concerns ahead of the two internationals against Ireland.

Damian Willemse and Steven Kitshoff are set to miss the series, along with the suspended Jasper Wiese.

However, with Smith’s experience and versatility, the Springboks will be hoping to field a strong squad capable of challenging the formidable Irish side.

Kwagga Smith’s Journey to the Springboks

Kwagga Smith’s rugby journey has been one of perseverance and dedication. From his early days playing for the Golden Lions in South Africa to his international debut for the Springboks in 2018, Smith has consistently demonstrated his skill and tenacity on the field.

His contributions to the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup victories in 2019 and 2023 have cemented his status as a key player in the team’s success.

As the Springboks prepare to face Ireland in July, fans and teammates alike will be eagerly anticipating Kwagga Smith’s return to the green and gold jersey, ready to make his mark once again on the international stage.