Saracens' John Smit gets backing for prop role

John Smit
Former Springbok Smit is the most capped hooker in international rugby

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall says he has no reservations about playing John Smit at prop.

The Premiership champions are without the injured Mako Vunipola and Deon Carstens, who left the club last month.

And ex-Springbok captain Smit, predominantly a hooker, was called upon to replace Rhys Gill at loosehead in Sunday's draw with Gloucester.

McCall backed the 33-year-old, telling BBC Three Counties Radio: "John's played international rugby at prop."

He added: "We're in the fortunate position that we've got somebody like him who has the calibre to play hooker or loosehead.

"I thought he did very well when he came on to the pitch. For us to be able to bring experience like Carlos Nieto and John on to the pitch was great."

Owen Farrell kicked all of his side's points in the 15-15 stalemate against Gloucester, converting five of seven penalties.

And while McCall was pleased with the England prospect's consistency, he reserved praise for his side's discipline in the wet conditions.

"I think Owen will be the first to acknowledge that those seven penalties came from the hard work of everyone else," he said.

"We put them under a lot of pressure to get those penalties but unfortunately we couldn't get far enough away from them."

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