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Veteran Springbok World Cup winner Juan Smith, who has decided to take the entire year off, will decide in November if he will return to the playing field or retire permanently.


The 30-year-old Smith, who has not played since he tore his Achilles in the early stages of a match against the Bulls in the opening match of the Super Rugby season on 25 February 2011, revealed that he was “taking a complete break” from the game.

The 69-Test veteran – who not only missed the entire 2011 Super Rugby season, the Tri-Nations and the 2011 World Cup – has undergone surgery four times since last year’s setback.

He is hoping that by stepping away from the game – by not training or playing for the entire year – he will finally overcome the problem that is threatening to bring a premature end to his glittering career.

Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie told this website in an interview that Smith will “make a call on the way forward” in November.

“He was in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup, then for [this year's] Super Rugby [season] and now [to start playing] once we returned from the [Australasian] tour,” Fourie said.

“Every time he pushed himself too hard and too early and every time he aggravated the injury again.

“It is a tough decision [to take the rest of the year off], but it is a wise and correct decision,” Fourie told this website, adding that Smith will decide in November what the future holds for him.

Smith, who was appointed captain of the Cheetahs before the latest setback, played the last of his 69 Tests against England at Twickenham in November 2010.

He also has 79 Super Rugby caps to his credit and is a multiple Currie Cup winner with the Free State team.

* Meanwhile the Cheetahs look set to lose rookie flyhalf Johan Goosen for this coming weekend’s Round Eight Super Rugby encounter with New Zealand leading franchise, the Chiefs.

The Cheetahs’ assistant, Fourie, told this website that they will make a call on the 19-year-old No.10 “later in the week”.

“The shoulder injury appears to be more serious than we anticipated,” Fourie said of the AC joint he damaged in a tackle in the 26-5 win over the Lions last Saturday, a tackle for which Lions pivot Elton Jantjies was issued an off-field yellow card.

Fourie said they will “leave it as late as possible” and probably only make a call on Goosen by Friday.

Sias Ebersohn is likely to step into the flyhalf position if Goosen is ruled out.

Fourie added that there are a few “niggles” as a result of the encounter with the Lions, but he expects the rest of the players to be fit to play against the Chiefs.

14 Responses to Juan Smith to make decision on his future in November

  • 2

    I think Cheetahs need to stop thinking about JS playing again and concentrate on his future. He won’t be coming back to play, but I think would be well served in the Cheetahs coaching staff. He has a lot to offer.

  • 3

    3@ Just For Kicks:Coaching? Don’t you have to pass all sorts of courses etc to coach?

    And just because I can drink copious amounts of wine, doesn’t mean that I will be a good wine maker.

  • 4

    @ Loosehead:I’m willing to bet that being such a great consumer of wine, you’d have a lot of ‘on hand’ knowledge that you could pass on to any winemaker for him to improve his product

  • 5

    Pity… Juan was such a hard player…

    Hope he recovers and he’s able to play 1 or 2 more seasons.

  • 6

    gbs @ 5
    lets see what happens towards the end of year, gbs.
    hopefully he’ll be fully recovered and good to go.
    one the 1 or 2 more seasons … think this break from rugby may extend his rugby career way beyond that!!

  • 7

    I hear on the wires that Bismarck du Plessis is on his way home, to be replaced by Kyle Cooper who is on his way over to auckland – not what Puma wanted to hear, I am sure. The Sharks are also sweating on Tim Whitehead, but on a brighter note, it seems that Lambie will be back this weekend

  • 8

    From Brendon Nel -sport24.com – The eye-gouging claims that overshadowed the Bulls’ win over the Crusaders on the weekend will fade into the darkness, but will leave some bad blood between the two former Super Rugby champion teams if they happen to meet again later in the competition.

    The Crusaders may have escaped censure by the SANZAR disciplinary appeal, but despite reports to the contrary, have not been cleared of the claims made during last Saturday’s game.

    The matter has been let go simply because there is no evidence to substantiate the claim, SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters told 3News in New Zealand.

    “It doesn’t mean they are cleared, it simply means that there is no video evidence to substantiate the claim,” Peters told the television stadium, adding that the governing body would not be looking at any further steps against either team.

    The controversy angered the Crusaders and the Bulls replied on Monday they would not submit to a demand for an apology, standing by their claims that the incidents happened.

    But where the Bulls fell flat, SANZAR has now asked teams to add a second report after a match, something which was not done by the Bulls at the time. Therefore, there was no other evidence to consider other than the video footage of the match, which offered no help to substantiate the claims.

    Peters said this would now become a requirement for any white card action.

    “We’ll be telling the teams today that there will be an expectation from SANZAR that if they make a referral on field, they follow it up after the match,” Peters said.

    The SANZAR ceo added that in future, any false claims would fall under bringing the game into disrepute, and punished accordingly.

    “We would look at teams who are making vexatious complaints, or if we found it to be the case. We may take action under our code of conduct for bringing the game into disrepute.”

  • 9

    @ grootblousmile:Seriously, you need to speak to your people at Bulls HQ, and get rid of this daft ‘bumble bee’ weekly award they insist on giving to the players, it really is so pre-school, and make the proud Bulls the laughing stock of every rugby supporter! By the way, if anyone wants to know, Hougaard, this weeks proud recipient has managed to wrestle it away from last weeks winner, Spies!!!

  • 10

    ….just in case anyones interested, there are more Bulls weekly awards, fortunately, they don’t sound quite as daft as the ‘bumble bee’ award. This weeks awards go to –

    Hitman (biggest tackle of the day): Jano Vermaak

    Bison (most cleans): Werner Kruger (25 in 66min)

    Sniper (most tackles): Wynand Olivier (21 in 80)

    Ant (Best back): Francois Hougaard

    Workhorse (highest work rate): CJ Stander

    And just to top it all, they insist on wearing pink at their away games.

  • 11

    9 & 10 @ Just For Kicks:
    At least the Bulls HAVE awards!

    Would be interesting what awards the Stormers would come up with… maybe something like this:

    The TIK award… for the dumbest looking Stormer
    The Meraai award… for being the biggest doooos
    The Gatiep award… for smelling the most bottoms
    The Bergbok award… for the smelliest farts
    The Jou Maaaa award… for the most obscene language used on the pitch
    The Sandy Bay award… for the best tan… all over
    The Wally award… for The coach of the day
    The Langbek award… for the forward spending the most time out of position in the BACKLINE

  • 12

    @ grootblousmile:I have no problems with the awards – excellent for motivation, its the stupid name. To me it has a negative affect on the players. The same as the jersey, as much as the media boys will tell you that the colour of the jerseys had no effect on the players, we all know it did. When the whole world goes “buzz buzz” as you go past, don’t tell me it won’t have an effect on you. It will.

    Why not call it something like “most outstanding player of the week” award? All the fans, Bulls followers or not, will know exactly what it is for, would certainly make you walk a little taller, and certainly give you better bragging rights amongst your fellow players – imagine walking into the change room and having to tell your mates, “I’m the bumble bee this week”

    Its just stupid

  • 13

    Goosen has a shoulder injury, Cheetahs giving him as long as possible to come right

  • 14

    Just a flying visit on the way home from Orkney. (No it wasn’t snoring!)

    In my humble opinion, the lack of Juan Smith at the RWC was a SIGNIFICANT FACTOR in the Boks early entry / failure to win the competition.

    I said before the start that he was a massive loss, and I stand by that statement.

    He just about ALWAYS gets over the advantage line with ball in hand, and his workrate in the tight loose is phenomenal.

    I sincerely hope that he recovers and can grace the Rugby field again.

    As to whether he’ll make a good coach, my experience tells me that the majority of outstanding coaches were not necessarily great players, but of course there are exceptions. (Johm Mitchell, Todd Blackadder Etc.)

    Of course, others like Martin Johnson were a disaster.

    The best coaches tend to be students of the game. Unfortunately most great players aren’t students (of Rugby).

    Anyway, enough of the philosophical BS.

    I am now departing to my place of abode, where hopefuully, “her indoors” has rediscovered her culinary ability and made some food fit for human consumption.

    Thereafter I am going to indulge in a very milky mug of hot chocolate and retire for the day.

    I’ve been on the go since 04h00 this morning, so I am basically as knackered as the Lions 2012 Super Rugby campaign right now.

    Goodnight all. Lekker slaap!


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