JuanBok flank Juan Smith quietly left South Africa via Oliver Tambo Airport yesterday with his agent Stephan Weyers, to attend medical and fitness assessments with French side Toulon.


The 32 year old Springbok flank, who announced his retirement from all rugby earlier this year after yet another injury setback with his troublesome Achilles injury, apparently underwent another procedure which was successful. He could finalise a contract as early as Wednesday, if all tests are successful. He has reportedly been training hard in the gym, without any discomfort. He will join fellow South African rugby players Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana, Joe van Niekerk, Danie Rossouw and Michael Claasens at Toulon.

The Cheetahs president, Harold Verster was keen to see Juan back with the Cheetahs, but he seems to want to further his career overseas.

10 Responses to Bok flank Juan Smith on trial with Toulon

  • 1

    hoop uit my hart uit dit is n sukses,sterkte juan ysterman van die vrystaatspan

  • 2

    All the best to Juan Smith for his tests – with a lot riding on it they should be quite vigorous.

  • 3

    The Top 14 has already begun for Toulon with the first round of games taking place this weekend, so it is interesting that they are bringing Smith over at this stage as even though Smith must be quite fit from all his training he would not be properly match fit for quite a few more games, but I guess these clubs have so much cash to flash they already have quite a potent loose trio. For the record Toulon drew 22 all with Montpellier in their first game.

  • 4

    “He will join fellow South African rugby players Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana, Joe van Niekerk, Danie Rossouw and Michael Claasens at Toulon.” – at least this will help Smith to settle in to the environment in France. A line up with Bakkies, Rossouw and Smith in it would make for a fearsome pack!

  • 5

    There is also the highly rated Steffon Armitage and the Argentine Juan Marting Fernandez Lobbe as completion on the flank, while eighthman Chris Masoe is also on their books. Joe v Niekerk is the captain and as Smith and Rossouw are surely similar type players maybe if he gets through the fitness tests we will see the two of them rotating rather than starting together too often.

  • 6

    5 @ Bullscot:
    sorry that should be Martin not Marting

  • 7

    Toulon also have Sebastian Bruno (hooker) and props Andrew Sheridan, Carl Hayman and Martin Castrogiovanni and lock Ali Williams in their squad so they could put a potent experienced pack out there, granted many of their players are nearing the end of their careers but if managed correctly and not overplayed they can still be a force to be reckoned with.

  • 8

    Added to that Toulon pack you have some impressive backline players starting with Michael Claasens (who joined from Bath in the closed season), Freddie Michalak, Jonny Wilkinson, Mathieu Bastareud, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Bryan Habana, Rudi Wulf, Delon Armitage – it reads like something of an All Stars team…

  • 9

    I am all for teams bringing in players from different parts of the world, but only as long as it is done with a balance – for me many of the French club teams have gone over that balance, for example of the squad that I could find for Toulon they have 14 French players and 21 from elsewhere in the world! This may raise the standard of the competition which in turn helps the national players lift their performances but also limits the amount of game time the national players will be getting. I guess it is a big league with 14 teams in it so maybe the national players get enough time to play and perhaps you could argue for them getting less game time may leave them fresher for international duty and longer careers but I don’t know just doesn’t feel right…

  • 10

    Evening Sports fans

    Just listened to a very interesting interview with Jake White on Balls Radio with Darren Scott. The subject of picking overseas players was brought up.

    Jake mentioned that back in his day when he wanted players like Percy, Andre Snyman and others to play for the Boks he was only allowed to select them on the condition that the recommitted themselves to SA rugby, ie came back to play for a local team again.

    His opinion (which I agree with 100%) was that if we allowed overseas players to play for the Boks then there would be very little reason for most of our players to remain here.

    He went further on to say that it would have a knock on effect with the sponsorship of local tournaments (like the Currie Cup) as local sponsors would be more reluctant to sponsor a tournament of the marquee factor was lessened.

    He also mentioned that we were the only country of the top 3 (yes I know) that allowed it. It would lead to killing the goose that laid the golden egg in the first place.

    Well said Jake.


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