World Cup-winning South African captain John Smit is set to play more regularly at prop for his new club, Saracens.
Having spent lengthy periods of his career floating between all three positions in the front row, Smit would have liked to see out his final years in just one spot.
However, the presence of fellow Springbok Schalk Brits at Sarries means Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall has indicated that Smit will feature at prop more regularly in future.
The Premiership champions – who are without the injured Mako Vunipola and Deon Carstens, who left the club last month – used Smit to replace Rhys Gill at prop in a 15-all Premiership draw with Gloucester at the weekend.
However, earlier in the season he featured mostly at hooker, scoring a match-winning try in one of his seven appearances this season.
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.”
Smit, who started out as a prop when captaining his country at age-group level, played the first three Tests under Peter de Villiers as a hooker, then started twice at tighthead prop, one Test at hooker and 11 internationals at tighthead prop before moving back to hooker.
Contrary to the belief of many pundits De Villiers started Smit at hooker ahead of the in-form Bismarck du Plessis at the World Cup last year.
In domestic rugby, at the Sharks and Clermont Auvergne in France, Smit was moved around between prop and hooker a lot more frequently.