Rugby

Bok legend Juan Smith calls it a day

2017-10-18 09:06
Juan Smith (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok flank Juan Smith is set to retire from all forms of rugby.

After spending four years at French giants Toulon, Smith was earlier this year lured to Japanese club Toyota Verblitz, who is coached by ex-Springbok coach Jake White.

Smith, 36, recently said he was enjoying his time in Japan and hinted at extending his contract by a season.

However, Verblitz announced on Wednesday that Smith will play his final game this weekend.

“We would like to announce that Juan Smith is unable to continue playing rugby in Top League, due to family reasons,” the club said via a press statement.

“After discussing the situation with Juan and the team’s managerial members, it is very regrettable to announce that the match against TL 9 Toyota Shokki Shuttles will be Juan's last match in his rugby playing career.

“We apologise to our supporters for this announcement. However, we thank you for your understanding.”

Smith also commented: “I am disappointed to announce that I am going to retire from my rugby career after the match against Toyota Shokki Shuttles.

“I was going to carry on my rugby playing career with my coach Jake White, however, I would like to say thank you to all my team-mates, coaching staff at Toyota Verblitz. Also to all my supporters and family members, too.

“I was looking forward to winning the championship with my team-mates, however, this was a decision which had to be decided on.

“I am wishing that the Toyota Verblitz team plays well in the competitions, and I hope that I’m able to support the team from my end as much as I can as a Toyota family member.

“Thank you very much for having me even though it was only for a short period of time.
Good luck.”

Before heading to France in 2013, Smith played nine years for the Cheetahs.

He also played 70 Tests for the Springboks between 2003 and 2014.

Read more on:    juan smith  |  rugby
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