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The Cheetahs are doing everything within their powers to try and stop loose forward Juan Smith from moving to France.


Smith has fully recovered from an Achilles injury, and is apparently close to signing a deal with French club Bayonne. English club Bath is also eager to sign the 31-year-old.

Smith was not among the nine loose forwards – Marnus Schoeman, Justin Downey, Leon Karemaker, Lappies Labuschagné, Davon Raubenheimer, Tertuis Daniller, Philip van der Walt, Heinrich Brüssow and Boom Prinsloo – recently named in the Cheetahs’ provisional 2013 Super Rugby squad.

However, coach Naka Drotské on Sunday said that they are trying to convince Smith to stay on in Bloemfontein.

Business interests in Bloemfontein could play a part in Smith’s final decision.

Smith hasn’t played since he got injured playing Super Rugby for the Cheetahs against the Bulls in February 2011, while the last of his 69 Tests for the Springboks was against England at Twickenham in November 2010.

4 Responses to Cheetahs fighting to keep Juan Smith

  • 1

    Would be a sad loss to Cheetahs rugby to see him go, but money talks.

  • 2

    Let Juan go, Cheetahs… he is an injury waiting to re-occur.

    He was great, he was sublime… till the injury bogey started riding him.

  • 3

    On de udder hand ….. I wouldn’t begrudge Juan a season or two earning some yen, and running over some “Japthas” in Japan. I think Juan can be Big in Japan Tounge-Out

    Then I think a fit Juan will be an asset to any side. Yes he has been out a long time, but I remember when he came back to the Boks after his 1st injury, he made such a massive difference to what was a stuttering bok loose trio at the time.

    Write him off at your own peril! I will wait and see if he has fully recovered. I would rather have half a Juan Smith, than a fully fit Caveman “Scud” Potgieter any day of the week.

  • 4

    @ Cheetah4eva:
    I hope you guys can keep him, he’s a legend and one of my favorite players.


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