RugbyU: Sharks name Smit chief executive

South Africa's 2007 World Cup winning captain John Smit will become chief executive of Coastal Sharks in July, the Durban-based Super 15 franchise announced Tuesday.

"We look forward to welcoming the favourite son of South African rugby to his new role as chief executive of the Sharks," a spokesman for the South African conference leaders said.

Smit retired from Test rugby after defending champions South Africa suffered a 11-9 quarter-finals loss to Australia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

He moved from the Sharks to English Premiership club Saracens soon after and was due to join French Top 14 outfit Toulon before changing his mind after an offer to work at the franchise where he spent 15 seasons.

Smit skippered South Africa to the 2007 World Cup trophy with a 15-6 victory over England in Paris, won a record 111 caps and led the green and gold 83 times.

The 35-year-old takes over as chief executive from Brian van Zyl, who is retiring after 20 years in the post and is expected to work with Smit until early next year.