Juan Smith set for French stint

2012-09-26 23:10

Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs flank Juan Smith looks likely to make his return to the rugby field in France next year.

The 31-year-old has missed most of the last two seasons due to an Achilles injury and many feared his rugby career was over.

However, according to Volksblad, the Bok ace will return to the playing field but most likely in France, unless he gets a huge offer from a South African team.

French Top 14 club Bayonne is apparently the favourite to pen a deal with the 69-Test veteran.

Smith says he's eager to return to the playing field after a frustrating rehabilitation period which included several operations. "I'm ready to play again, but with the Currie Cup nearing its end, I don't want to put pressure on myself."

He hasn't played since he got injured playing Super Rugby for the Cheetahs against the Bulls in February 2011, while his last Test for the Springboks was against England at Twickenham in November 2010.


  • hansieenelmien.myburgh - 2012-09-26 22:32

    No Juan Smith. This is not the way to thank a union who stood right by your side the whole time. Sis man!!!!!

      Citroes - 2012-09-26 23:48

      Are you slightly retarded? Geewhiz, what an idiotic comment.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-09-27 01:20

      Maybe the Kings should make him an offer - Juan already has a jersey that Lukie can Pukie on . . .

      francopeyper.vantollen - 2012-09-27 09:05

      Juan Smith is a legend. One of the only players respected worldwide. Hopefully SARU can make a plan with all their millions to keep him here, if not then let him collect a fat payout in France - He deserves it. There is no need for him to thank anybody.. we should all be thanking him. If there is one player who I wish wouldn't age, it is Juan Smith. Without a doubt SA's greatest player.

      TravieGrif - 2012-09-27 09:38

      I think that it is a good move for him. With all the loosies available at the moment, and having struggled with injuries for so long, he certainly deserves a big pay day, and all the best to him. He has been a faithful servant to the Cheetahs and SA, and a huge thanks for making us so proud. Hansie, he owes his union nothing. He has served faithfully for years, putting everything on the line. It is his time now, and you should be ashamed of your attitude. How about a little gratitude to him for the enjoyment he has given over time?

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-09-26 22:52

    Hate to lose Juan.One of the few players that will bleed for the Springbok jersey.A running bulldozer par excellence he is.Then again at 31 years of age you got to look after yourself first and go where the money is.So good luck Juan and all the best.

  • cilliers.vanniekerk.1 - 2012-09-26 23:49

    Best wishes, and hope you stay free of injury for the rest of a long career still, Juan!

  • wbothma - 2012-09-26 23:57

    Beserings, gepaard met ouderdom is dit 'n goeie besluit . . .. maar moet bieg . . . ek mis hom in die groen en goud!!!

  • darrelelricha.naude - 2012-09-27 07:28

    This is really great news that he is making a return - he is the future Springbok captain...

      deanjb1 - 2012-09-28 01:26

      Not anymore, he is too old to be Bok captain now. By the time he returns to SA he may well be 33 or 34 years old

  • alecjacksonSA - 2012-09-27 07:40

    Quite poor of Juan, not the way to repay a union who has been paying you the highest salary at the union for 2 years while he sits on the sideline. The Cheetahs have HUGE injuries in the loose forward department but he wont risk it???? Shame on you Juan!!!

      TravieGrif - 2012-09-27 09:40

      Totally disagree. His contract is what his contract is, and he has given more than 2 years to Free State. He has given his whole career, and he is allowed to make an income deserving of the player that he is. Free State could never afford to pay what he is worth!

  • wayne.norval.3 - 2012-09-27 08:09

    agnee hy is die loyalste cheetah wat daar was na andre venter so jul comments is pateties!go juan j was goed vir suid afrikaanse rugby dis n jammerte jou ouderdom begin teen jou tel!

      alecjacksonSA - 2012-09-27 08:27

      Wayne, hy was verseker lojaal oor die jare maar hy het ook 'n salaris gekry wat vergelyk met die ander Bokke sin by die grooter unies. Ek is 'n groot Vrystaat en Juan Smith ondersteuner maar hy sal nie eers nou vir die Vrystaat speel al is hy fiks nie en ons het 4 beserings in die loosies net omdat hy dit nie wil 'risk' nie voor hy Frankryk toe gaan nie... dis nie baie lojaal teenoor die unie wat jou betaal alhoewel jy nie speel nie!!

      frederik.willemse.7 - 2012-09-27 09:41

      @alec, jy moet in gedagte hou, hy het reeds twee maal weer vir die Cheetahs gespeel terwyl hy nog nie 100% was nie, en elke keer het dit sy besering vererger. DIT is lojaliteit. As hy dit vir 'n derde keer sou doen, is dit plain weg onnoselheid. En Juan is nie onnosel nie. Ek sien heeltemal sy standpunt in dat hy eers 100% wil wees voor hy weer speel.

      alecjacksonSA - 2012-09-27 14:20

      @Staalburger, gaan lees die volle artikel in die Volksblad. Hy is nou 100% fiks. Hy het ook diselfde verdien as die ander groot rugby spelers soos Bismark by die Sharks ens. Hy het soveel verdien dat die Vrystaat 2 of 3 minder spelers kon inbring. As hy nou fiks is moet hy speel, jy kan wragtig nie vir 2 jaar nie speel nie en betaal word en dan net jou goed vat en loop nie...

  • denese.newby - 2012-09-27 15:52

    Good Luck Juan - whatever you choose. I hope it will be for South Africa and Cheetahs but if it's not, good luck anyway. From a SHARKS' supporter.

  • viva.lebok - 2012-09-27 21:57

    No Juan. Pls remain in SA, you are the future Bok Captain.

  • garth.bellingan.1 - 2012-09-27 23:06

    Overrated anyway, knows he wont make it back into the top flite in SA. Bye Bye.

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