John Smit spent much of his professional career with The Sharks, but it was as Springbok captain that he showed his true value as a world class leader, retiring from international rugby after the 2011 Rugby World Cup as the most-capped player in South African history, with 111 appearances. He was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame on 24 October 2011.
His career started out with The Sharks in 1998, he enjoyed a brief stint at Cleremont in France before returning and then continuing until 2011 before representing Saracens in the UK until his retirement in 2013. He represented The Sharks on 186 occasions to become one of the most capped players for the province and followed up his playing career directly afterwards by taking over the CEO role at The Sharks.
His 12 year international career began when he was just 22 years old. In 2018, he was elected to the board of the South African Rugby Union as the players’ representative. When he retired from international rugby, it was as the most-capped Springbok of all time and the most-capped international captain of all-time, having led the Boks a total of 83 times.