Smith deals Boks RWC blow

2011-02-26 14:04

Bloemfontein - Cheetahs captain Juan Smith appears set to miss South Africa's defence of their Rugby World Cup title after tearing his Achilles tendon.

Smith left the field inside the first two minutes of the Cheetahs 25-22 Vodacom Super Rugby defeat to the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Friday, and will undergo surgery early next week.

He is likely to be sidelined for between six to nine months, almost certainly ruling him out of the World Cup in New Zealand starting on September 9.

Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie confirmed the news to Rugby365's Jan de Koning, adding that fellow flank Frans Viljoen tore his hamstring and also faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Smith had just returned from a calf strain which ruled him out of the Cheetahs' 24-9 Week 1 loss to the Sharks in Durban.

The Cheetahs lost another key player earlier this week when Springbok hooker and stand-in captain Adriaan Strauss underwent surgery to repair a fractured bone in his hand.

He is expected to be sidelined for between four to six weeks.

The Cheetahs travel to Cape Town to face the Stormers next Saturday in Week 3 of the tournament.


  • CliffBradley - 2011-02-26 14:13

    He has been a good servant , maybe time to retire !!!

      Johann - 2011-02-26 14:32

      Cliff, he is currently the best we have. It is a huge loss for SA rugby. He might have been the difference in last night's game as well. I am really sorry for the guy. We need him to beat NZ in NZ at the worldcup.

      Midnic - 2011-02-26 14:41

      Johann, I can't agree more! This is a big blow, for both Springboks and Cheetahs!

      Grant - 2011-02-26 14:45

      It is a loss, but two words guys Willem Alberts!!!!!!!!!!! All is not lost, we need some young blood in the team anyway.

      Zenwie - 2011-02-26 14:51

      Surely this is quite a blow, but I agree with Grant, fortunately there is a guy like Willem Alberts.

      Midnic - 2011-02-26 15:12

      Speaking of Alberts, we're actually very lucky we have the talent pool to replace players of Juan's caliber, and still be competitive, if not more.

      CliffBradley - 2011-02-26 15:41

      I was not saying he is bad , had a shitty streak of bad fortune lately !!!

      Blougroen - 2011-02-26 16:32

      Huge huge loss of a powerhouse - Willem Alberts and Schalk Burger could possibly stand in ?.

      mike - 2011-02-27 14:24

      Yes there are other players out there but you don't just replace a player like Juan overnight. His experience and quality are unmatched in world rugby on the blindside flank. Alberts is good and first in line to replace him but to think he will be able to fill Juan's boots at the WC is just plain niave.

  • Francois - 2011-02-26 14:15


  • Midnic - 2011-02-26 14:30

    Not good news at all!

      Midnic - 2011-02-26 14:33

      In fact, Naka should have known better to play him on Friday night...

  • Hein - 2011-02-26 14:45

    Juan is a man amongst men. Good luck for a complete recovery!

      Fisto - 2011-02-27 08:56

      Agree, biggest heart in such a great player.

  • darkwing - 2011-02-26 15:41

    This season is going to have many casualties. Too much rugby.

      GP - 2011-02-26 20:33

      Too much rugby already! The guy got injured 2 minutes into the game. It proves that injuries can happen whether the season is long or first 2 minutes of the season. I'm just saying.

  • CliffBradley - 2011-02-26 15:42

    Johann : Shoo , het jy vir die "ROOI" span gespeel ?

  • mupet-killer - 2011-02-26 16:03

    WITH THIS NEW FORMAT, I FEAR FOR OUR RWC CHANCES. huge blow but we have a loosie factory atleast. 8 months till rwc-he will recover in time anyway. but if not, ill start with schalk, brussow, spies and alberts on bench. our top players need to be protected please.

      The Patriot - 2011-02-27 11:42

      It would be nice but not legal. Contractually the teams must host their best players. Sad news though. Had Smith played through, the game results could have been different. Bulls need to pull up their socks, as our apparent No 1 team they seem to be quite average. Not world beaters.

  • jacques.vanoordt - 2011-02-26 18:50


  • zule - 2011-02-26 21:41 seriously bad news...he is the best man around

  • lyledperry - 2011-02-27 00:10

    He is a great player, but we have a plethora of loose forwards and the Boks have awesome replacements for him. A big blow for the Cheetahs though.

  • N7 - 2011-02-27 02:53

    Just retire now Juan. In every great player's career there comes a time that you have to quit. Maybe your time has come. Thanks for the memories in the Bok jersey.

      Obakeng Matlapeng - 2011-02-27 05:21

      you chop, why must he retire?

      Fisto - 2011-02-27 08:59

      N7, you dont have to be an asshole forever!

      bokfan1 - 2011-02-27 12:44

      Stick to highways (N7) dude??? Get off rugby forums. Why retire at 30??? I know one shouldn't compare fullbacks with flankers but Stefan Tereblanche is 36 and is still one of the world's best rugby players who by no means should retire either. Juan is such an inspiration to rugby full stop. Speedy recovery!

  • marco - 2011-02-27 03:30

    What a blow.I mean the guy is like a bonnet of a car sometimes the way he plays smashing unsuspecting raiders and counter-raiders at the breakdown.An outstanding,phenomenal player at times fist to the breakdown which shows how alert he is.But luckily for the Boks they have invaluable and useful off the bench blindside flankers in Willem Alberts and Schalk Burger to replace him although to me Burger is a bit of loose cannon or Maverick when it comes to keeping his discipline in check.

  • Dan - 2011-02-27 09:02

    Nice guy and always gives 100%, but also a bit overrted and in the same category as John Smith. There is just too many better players to still keep them in the side. I really hope Jean Deysel will now get the nod, but Snorre will probably come up with some dismal selection again. Cheethas needs Smith badly though.

  • Preshan - 2011-02-27 11:09

    He is amazing player. Its big blow for the Boks, players like Alberts, Dysel,Louw has a chance to where number 7 jersy

  • Viperbul - 2011-02-27 11:34

    This is one of the GREAT LEGENDS of SA rugby. There simply are to many memories and to many great things to say about Juan. Juan, Ruben Kruger, Andre Venter..... man have we been blessed! Willem Alberts seems ready to step up and make these men proud! I also feel that maybe this injury, coming after many others in the last season or two, may just be the last one. Juan, you are awesome and you will be missed dearly, but consider hanging up those boots and spend some well deserved family time! You have served this counrty as proud as anyone. If however you feel that your still want to go on and slaughter some Kiwi's and Auzzies with your massive runs, then I say GO FOR IT!! Your call! We stand behind you!

  • Martin - 2011-02-27 13:30

    Bad luck for a thin Cheethah squad, another loooooooooong Super 14 minus the Cheetahs...

  • Slapper - 2011-02-27 16:20

    A major double loss to me. As important to me is his loss to the Cheetah's. Bugger!

  • Raymond - 2011-02-27 18:00

    How unfortunate can one be.I really hope that Juan's injury will heal sooner than expected. Nothing fancy abvout him but,he is really a classy player and must surely be one of the best in world rugby.Wishing you a speedy recovery Juan,we will need you at the RWC.From RaytheStormer

  • Sugarloaf - 2011-02-27 18:19

    A great player, wonderful person, good leader but to much pressure is put on him to return , I feel, too soon after injury. I think he must have a good long rest.

  • pages:
  • 1