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Juan SmithVeteran Springbok flank Juan Smith could be the bolter in the Cheetahs team when they face the Stormers in a pre-season match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

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Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie, who expressed his disappointment in the side’s 17-33 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend, revealed that a number of key players are scheduled to return this week.

Smith, who has not played since 25 February 2011, when he tore his Achilles tendon in a Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Bloemfontein , started training with the Cheetahs last week.

Whether it is uncertain that he will start against the Stormers, given the need for him to be “eased back” after two years on the sidelines and several operations, he could make his comeback off the bench.

Another Bok veteran who is an outside chance to feature against the Stormers is fellow flank Heinrich Brüssow – who has not played since he injured his shoulder in the Cheetahs’ Currie Cup encounter with Griquas in October.

“There are so many of our first-choice players that have to return from injury,” Fourie said, adding: “You are looking at guys like Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow, Philip van der Walt and Lappies Labuschagne which are almost a whole pack of forwards.

“There is still some fire power at home and if everyone is ready we will have a really good team.”

Fourie heaped praise on the Golden Lions for the way they have reacted to relegation from this year’s Super Rugby tournament, following their demolition of the Cheetahs at the weekend.

The Lions made a spirited comeback in the second half of the warm-up match from a 10-point deficit to triumph in the end.

“You have to give credit to the Lions for the way they played, especially in the second half, how they came back and used their opportunities,” Fourie said.

Fourie lamented his side’s performance and believed some of the players did not impress in their first outing of the season.

While the Cheetahs showed some potential on attack, their defence ultimately let them down as they leaked five tries.

“The combinations are not tried yet and from a coaching point of view, we wanted to see how the guys performed in the positions they were selected,” he said.

“There are a few guys that would be disappointed today and the effort wasn’t good enough.”

Fourie said it remained a challenge at the start of the season to find the right combinations from their options.

“It is always difficult for the Cheetahs at the beginning of the Super Rugby season to decide between players from the Griquas and us, who are the best and second best,” Fourie said.

“These games are there to look at this and there were guys that looked good in training but did not put up their hands after we expected them to do better.”

4 Responses to Super Rugby: Juan Smith might run out in next warm-up

  • 1

    Man I hope it goes ell for Juan, for Cheeetah and SA rugby’s sake

  • 2

    I’m a big fan of Juan, but I hope he doesn’t turn out to be the next Andre Pretorius….

  • 3

    @ xkreniwp:
    Lol, you can hardly compare the two. Juan had a relatively injury free career until 2010. That is quite a few years of top flight rugby. He made his debut in 2002, and after 69 tests, and plenty of matches for the Cheetahs.

    Pretorius’ career was riddled with injury interruptions. He could hardly string 4 consecutive matches together.

  • 4

    2nd Reconciliation Challenge to be hosted at the Free State Stadium

    Francois Uys. Photo by Anton Geyser /Rugby15.

    In his budget vote speech dated 06 April 2011, the MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Hon. D.A.M Kgothule said:

    “In our quest to promote social cohesion, nation building and sport tourism in the province we will annually host a soccer, rugby and golf Reconciliation Challenge. This programme will happen over a long weekend. The Challenge will involve Free State soccer outfit playing any other PSL soccer team, as well as the provincial rugby team against another franchise team.”

    In the Cabinet Meeting held on 14 November 2012, the Executive Council further agreed that:

    “Reconciliation Challenge, featuring rugby and soccer, should be retained as an annual event in the province that is scheduled to take place in January each year”

    The Reconciliation Challenge for 2013, dubbed “The clash of the Titans” will take place on 2 February 2013, with a “Reconciliation Walk” and “Teams Parade” taking place on 1 February 2013 to create awareness for the event. Bloemfontein Celtic will take on Supersport United FC with the Toyota Cheetahs battling the DHL Stormers. In the true spirit of reconciliation, this year’s event is also held on the same day as former President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. It is therefore fitting to host the Reconciliation Challenge on 2 February, as reconciliation is something Madiba inspired.

    Details as follows

    Date Event Time Venue
    1 February 2013 Reconciliation Walk Reg: 06:00

    Walk: 07:00
    UFS Admin building
    1 February 2013 Teams Parade 15:00 – 17:00 Twin City Mall – Loch Logan Waterfront
    2 February 2013 Match day 13:00 – 19:00 Free State Stadium

    Spectators will need a ticket to enter for record purposes, but tickets are free of charge. Tickets will be handed out at intersections, government departments, schools and during the walk and parade. Tickets are also available at the Free State Stadium and Bloemfontein Celtic.


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