Kwagga picks Lions over the BlitzBoks
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lions flank Albertus Kwagga Smith has turned down the opportunity to play for the Springboks Sevens side at the Commonwealth Games, according to recent media reports.
Instead, Smith has decided to put all his focus on the 15-man format in the pursuit of a potential Springboks career.
The 24-year-old, who played the first four World Sevens Series tournaments for the BlitzBoks and who was recently named in coach Neil Powell's 12-man Commonwealth Games squad, confirmed the news to reporters on Tuesday.
The flank's decisions to put all his energy behind the Lions' Super Rugby campaign was also amplified by the long-term shoulder injury to Springbok and Lions teammate Jaco Kriel.
"My goal for the next two years is to become a Springbok. I want to wear the green and gold in 15s, and for me to achieve that, I need to play as often as possible for the Lions," Smith told reporters.
"We've sat down and spoken about it. If Jaco was fit and ready to play, then it would have been OK for me to go to the Commonwealth Games. But it doesn't help if I go there and also get injured; that would hurt the Lions,"
"Neil knows what my goals are, and now that Jaco is out, I'm not going to be released for the Commonwealth Games. This is my decision; it makes sense.
"I want to be a Springbok. I already missed one game and don't want to miss more.
"I want to give myself the best chance I can to play for the Boks, and go to the World Cup, and that obviously means me playing as often as possible for the Lions,"