SARU confirm Smith withdrawal

2011-08-18 09:33

Cape Town - The South Africa Rugby Union has confirmed that loose forward Juan Smith will not be considered for the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad because of injury.

Smith made the decision to rule himself out of contention on Wednesday and informed Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

“Juan had been in a race against time to be fit and we were keen to give him every opportunity to prove himself available,” said de Villiers on Thursday.

“He is understandably very disappointed - as are we - but he has made the right decision. A fully fit Juan Smith would have been an enormous asset to our campaign and he this is a major disappointment.

“But it was obvious that he was still some way from full fitness and his decision confirms the advice of our medical team. Out of respect for a great Springbok, we wanted to leave the door open until the last moment for him.”

The 69-Test veteran injured his Achilles in a Vodacom Super Rugby match for the Toyota Cheetahs in February.

Smith said: “I’ve worked very hard to get back on the training field but I’m still some way from full fitness and have been training with quite a lot of pain. I’d been trying to tell myself that I’d come right but that wasn’t going to happen.

"This is a huge blow to me. The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of any player’s career and I was looking forward to our attempt to become the first team to win the title in successive tournaments.”

The Springbok Rugby World Cup squad will be announced live on SuperSport 1 from 19:30 on Tuesday, August 23.



  • JohnnyBB - 2011-08-18 09:39

    ...bad news for the Boks ....!!

      Marx - 2011-08-18 09:57

      Haai JohnnyBB, voel jy alraait?? Somebody call the doctor!!!

      Isikhulu - 2011-08-18 10:39

      JohnnyBB, bad news for the Boks and the player himself. I believe he got injured in one of his come back games from a similar injury. This happens when the FS coaching staff rush players back into the fold when they are not 100% fit. A similar position with Heinrich Brussouw, he was injured again in a comeback game earlier this year? There is an old English saying "Penny wise - pound foolish". The FS get 40-50 minutes from a recovering player and the Nation / player loses a season or two. Naka take a bow, and for the FS coaching team "Oi, give that man a Bells!"

      flowing river - 2011-08-18 10:59

      When is that other Smith leaving.......................! - 2011-08-18 13:10

      Isikhulu - Yep. I think the man down in Cape Town AC did a better job looking after his injured players. Pity about Duane Vermeulen though. He was probably over-played but I'd like to see him come int the squad. any word on his fitness??

  • Anneleen - 2011-08-18 09:51

    Sterkte met die pad vorentoe, Juan Smith...!!

      flowing river - 2011-08-18 11:18

      Boks are gonna battle against the likes of Wales and Fiji in the group stages ...................also Samoa, dont give them much chance against the Namibians either............hang on ...they might be knocked out in the group stage.....pathetic.............Talk about BAFANA......!

  • Bill - 2011-08-18 09:53

    It takes a special person, and a true leader, to withdraw when he knows he cannot give 100%, I wonder if his example will be followed by some members of Dad's Army that are past their sell-by dates but still insist that they want to play, even when injured? Somehow doubt that those others would put country before ego.

      Makutu - 2011-08-18 10:07

      John Smit, Danie Russouw, Victor Matfiled, Bucth James, CJ van der Linde and crew should have done so years back.

  • Raka13 - 2011-08-18 09:57

    SARU lees duidelik nie vroeë oggend nuus nie.

  • Makutu - 2011-08-18 09:59

    With so much talent in the country in his position, we need not to wroory. Plus this guy is ageing. Josh Strauss, Willem Alberts, Jean Deysel, Marcel Coetzee, Ashley Johnson and Siya Kolisi are a few players I can think of that will surely compete for that position in the near future. Thanks for your service Juan. I wish John Smit could also retire. He is a passenger.

  • Avi27 - 2011-08-18 10:15

    Its definately a big lose that Juan is out esp if he was fully fit for the WC. It took a lot of guts to do what he did and its good to see some people in the team put the team and SA first. WC loose forwards, Brussow, Alberts and Burger with Spies on the bench? I think Alberts needs to start the big games with Bismark, just imagine the 2 of them with Beast, Schalk and Bakkies running at full throtle at the opposition. They definately punch through some holes and give us front foot ball and maybe if our backs support them and start showing their true potential we actually score a few tries. Spies can make a big impact off the bench and maybe his fresh legs can get a break away winning try for us. Go Bokke!!! All the best for Sat

  • clivegoss - 2011-08-18 10:23

    Baie dankie en voorspoed vorentoe. Jy was n plesier om dop te hou en jy het rugby verteenwoordig.

  • Andrew - 2011-08-18 10:38

    it is a great pity that we wont be without this great player at the RWC but i have faith in whoever fills his boots will rise to the occasion !!!! GO BOKKE

  • CM38 - 2011-08-18 10:39

    While it's not good news, one man cannot make up the entire Springbok could make a difference but really no a major impact.

  • Johann - 2011-08-18 13:00

    SA lucky with a wealth of loosies but no Juan amongst them, this is a huge blow but the withdrawal a long time coming. Would have been a mistake taking him to RWC, even fully fit, with no matches under the belt for such a long time. Pity the world is going to miss out in seeing one of the world's best!!

  • OLIBO - 2011-08-18 14:59

    What about John 'WRESTLER" Smit? When is SARU dropping him? The guy is so useless like Peter de Villiers.

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