Juan Smith calls it a day

    2013-02-11 19:36
    Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
    Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs loose forward Juan Smith has announced his retirement from rugby due to an ongoing Achilles injury which has plagued him since February 2011.

    The 31-year-old - who missed most of the last two seasons due to the injury - confirmed the news of his retirement to Volksblad's sport editor, Hendrik Cronjé, on Monday.

    Smith made his return to the playing field after a two-year absence against the Stormers last Saturday, and also had a solid game for the Cheetahs against the Bulls over the weekend.

    However, an MRI scan on Monday forced the 69-Test veteran to call it a day.

    Smith thanked his fans and family for standing by him through trying times.

    "Were it not for the fans and my family, then I probably would have made the decision to retire much earlier.

    "It was the fans who gave me the courage to - after several disappointing operations - attempt to make a comeback to the rugby field this year.

    "I appreciate all the support I received through the years from my family, Bok- and especially Free State supporters."

    Smith will now take a week-long holiday with his family, before deciding on the next step in his life.

    HAVE YOUR SAY: Juan Smith will surely go down in history as one of the greatest-ever Springbok players. How will you always remember him? Send your well-wishes to Smith for his future endeavours to Sport24.

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