Juan Smith out for the year

2012-04-04 08:08

Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs flank Juan Smith has taken an indefinite break from rugby due to an ongoing Achilles injury.

The 30-year-old told the Volksblad newspaper in an exclusive interview that he won't play rugby this year.

Smith injured his Achilles playing for the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby game against the Bulls on 25 February last year. Since then he's missed the Springboks' World Cup campaign last year and hasn't featured in this year's Super Rugby competition.

Smith has since had four operations and was understandably very upset with the current state of the injury.

"The right thing to do now is to give my injury sufficient time to heal 100%," said Smith.

Cheetahs coach, Naka Drotské, is shattered by the news. "Juan is the best No 7 flank in world rugby. He was also our captain over the last few years and to lose him is a huge setback.

"It will be really difficult to replace a world class player like him."

Smith has now set his sights on returning stronger than ever in the 2013 season.

His injury will also be a big blow to new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. Even though the Boks boast really good loose forwards, they are sure to miss Smith's ball-carrying ability, lineout prowess and leadership.


  • Paul - 2012-04-04 08:22

    It's a shame brilliant player!!

  • Blou-Daan - 2012-04-04 08:30

    Jammer om dit te hoor, maar dis dalk nou maar tyd vir uit tree.

      Terence - 2012-04-04 08:31

      I agree fully. He's a legend, but will never be the same again.

      verweyc - 2012-04-04 10:24

      Dink dit is tyd dat Juan dalk maar sy tokse permanent moet ophang. Was die beste no 7 gewees op sy tyd, maar dit gaan moeilik wees om na 2 jaar weer 'n comeback te maak. Hy was seker een van die mees lojale spelers gewees by die Cheetahs. Nooit oorweeg om vir 'n ander franchise te gaan speel ten spyte van groot geld wat ge-offer is.

      Nick - 2012-04-04 11:51

      Rubbish Blou Daan. The man is only 30 - 31 next year - he will still have at least another 2 to 3 years of good rugby in him. He is a legend - as Naka says - the best no. 7 flank in world rugby.. Remember Os du Randt? He took a 3 year sabbatical from rugby - came back just as straong under Jake White - and was instrumental in our RWC 2007 triumph! Juan will be back! In the mean time - all the best to Juan - get better 'ou grote' - Free State and the Boks need you in 2013.. :)

      Blou-Daan - 2012-04-04 12:35

      @Nick We all love Juan and know him to be the best, but with all those injuries I do have my doubts about his future as a fit player. No offense…..!!!!

      Nick - 2012-04-05 11:50

      @ Blou Daan. None taken mate - no worries.. Like I said, however - like Os Du Randt before - Juan will be back after his sabbatical - he'll be only 31 next year - with at least another 2, if not 3, years of Test rugby in him.. :)

  • Nicholas - 2012-04-04 08:35

    As sad as it is to say, it looks like retirement is on the cards here.

  • Bootman - 2012-04-04 08:57

    According to Naka, losing Smith is a huge setback. From where I'm sitting, it looks like the Cheetahs are doing fine without him. That statement must be a smack in the face for Adriaan Strauss who is captaining the team brilliantly. I agree with the general sentiment that it's time for Juan to hang up his boots. As great a players as he is/was, there is always the risk that he might do permanent damage if he continues.

      Jason - 2012-04-04 08:59

      I have always been a voice shouting for experience over youth, but i have to say this year there are plenty youngsters i would be happy sending out in the Green and gold!

      Bootman - 2012-04-04 09:21

      If you look at Australian rugby and how competitive they have been over the years, considering the pool of players they have to choose from, the truth is glaringly obvious. They, at times, have no choice but to take promising youngsters and throw them in at the deep end. More often than not they shine. I think we sometimes hold on to experience for way too long. The youngsters in the Stormers setup has shown us that the exuberance of youth, at times, trumps experience.

  • Gary - 2012-04-04 09:00

    Retire as you are too injury prone. Sorry Terence, but to call anyone a legend when they have not reached that status is beyond me.

      Terence - 2012-04-04 09:10

      Thank goodness your opinion isn't mine.

      hvanderlinde - 2012-04-04 09:14

      Gary, I believe you would be in the minority and completely oblivious to any rugby knowledge should you not believe this man is a legend. He IS! Smith You Legend!

      Bokfan - 2012-04-04 09:25

      Gary, Your opinion is not only meaningless,it is also infantile, uninformed, banal and actually not worth this reply. As for Juan, if you can find a way back please do so. Your skills, athleticism,power and temperament made you the best forward at the 2007 WC and in many games since you showed what it means to be the no 1 in the world. All true rugby fans miss your brilliant contributions.

      Bootman - 2012-04-04 09:34

      What I admire most about Juan is his loyalty to Cheetah rugby. A player of his calibre could walk into the starting lineup of any team in the world and earn big bucks. He decided to stay with a struggling team and put his body on the line for the cause. That, in my book makes him a legend........that and the fact that he is one of the best loose forwards to ever set foot on a rugby field.

      steyts - 2012-04-04 10:03

      @Bootman - The reason for him staying in Bloem is because no other rugby team on this planet can pay him what he earns at the cheetahs and at the several different businesses in Bloem he has a part in. My uncle who is a mielie boer there in the free state says he (Juan Smith) makes an absolute killing! And of course when he is done with rugby he still has his companies where he earns his big bucks!! Apparently that is the way a bunch of businessmen in Bloem managed to keep Heinrich Brussow there last year when there were all the talks of him moving down to Cape Town...

      Nick - 2012-04-04 11:55

      Gary - stop taking cheap acid mate - you're delusional! Juan Smith is a legend of the game in SA - a true gentleman and brilliant leader and player! Unrivalled worldwide in his day as a ball-carrying, line-out winning, flank. His loyalty to his team (Free State) and the people of the Free State is to be admired in today's world of greed, greed, greed!

  • Stormkaap - 2012-04-04 09:46

    There goes my capatin for the bokke. Now its up to Bekker, Burger and Chilli as captain

      Blou-Daan - 2012-04-04 09:52

      @Stormkaap Bekker.......?????? Amper verstik ek in my koffie....!!!!!

      Bootman - 2012-04-04 09:58

      Stormkaap we have a captain for the bokke. Meyer is bringing Fourie Du Preez back from Japan, remember? What an embarrasment. The Bok captain plays his rugby in Japan.

      steyts - 2012-04-04 10:06

      Jeesh ja nee kyk Blou Daan ek is self 'n groot stormer supporter maar Bekker is defnitief nie in my oe 'n kandidaat vir springbok kaptein nie... Ek dink Burger is die beste kandidaat want dis baie duidelik dat hy baie groot respek dra by die res van die spelers en die wereld rugby gemeenskap. Selfs die blou bulle!!

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-04 12:21

      Steyts, Fourie is 30.. by the time the WC comes around he will be well past his best. Playing in a 2nd rate league. Need to look ahead . @ Daan so lank dit net jou koffie is en nie Spies se tutu is nie is als ok!

      steyts - 2012-04-04 12:40

      Dis hoekom ek mos se Burger moet kaptein wees...

  • Chuck - 2012-04-04 11:00

    FLIP man! He would have been such a good SPringbok captain. And his carrying ability is matched, maybe, only by the likes of WIllem Alberts. However, there just seems to be an extra x-factor element about Juan that few can boast.....

  • Denny - 2012-04-04 11:58

    Sad news indeed. I hope he can make a great comeback next year. I'll miss shouting out "Matt Damon" every time he gets the ball in the meantime :)

  • Julian - 2012-04-04 12:04

    Is the man made of cardboard or something!? Seriously , Juan is a great player and I'm sad to see him out for so long, but this constant injury problem is getting ridiculous.

  • Donavan - 2012-04-04 14:05

    good luck juan, come back stronger boet

  • david.danker - 2012-04-05 06:47

    Big loss get better Juan see you in 2013 you will be missed this year I was looking forward to you smashing a few poms

  • Arthur - 2012-04-05 08:18

    Big Bad Blow to lose this great player Let us hope that he can come back into the game again

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