“Wat my gelukkigste dag ooit in die Springbok-trui moes wees, was toe my donkerste dag van my rugbyloopbaan.”
Só het ’n teleurgestelde Juan Smith Maandag gesê wat met sy aankoms in Suid-Afrika ook onder kritiek moes deurloop, omdat hy nie die volkslied in Saterdag se toets in die Rugby-kampioenskap teen Argentinië in Salta gesing het nie.
Die 33-jarige Smith was die eerste keer sedert 2010 weer vir die Bokke in aksie, en het nie die terugkeer gemaak waarop hy gehoop het nie.
“Die opbou na die toets was baie emosioneel gewees. Ek moes tydens die sing van die volkslied op my lippe byt dat die trane nie rol nie,” het Smith gesê.
The boyish smile on the face of Juan Hugo Smith masked the trauma that he endured in the past four years, when it seemed an Achilles injury ended his career.
At 33, with 69 Test caps for South Africa, he is one of the most seasoned players in the Springbok team to face Argentina in Salta on Saturday.
Captain Jean de Villiers, also 33 and 97 Tests, and recalled prop Gurthrö Steenkamp, 33 and 51 Tests, are among the few that can match him for experience in the team that will take to the field at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena.
Smith is the epitome of a player who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to return to the international arena, after it seemed his career had come to an abrupt end.
Juan Smith will complete a remarkable return to international rugby when he runs out for the Springboks against Argentina in Salta on Saturday, in the Springboks’ second Test of The Rugby Championship (kick-off 21:40 SA Time).
Smith’s inclusion at flank is one of three changes to the starting 15, with a further four changes on the bench.
Gurthrö Steenkamp (prop) and Eben Etzebeth (lock) will start in the tight five, with Tendai Mtawarira and Bakkies Botha moving to the bench. Marcell Coetzee will join them amongst the replacements after coming in as a late substitute for the injured Willem Alberts last weekend.
The Springboks have landed in Argentina with no injury concerns, but Meyer will be forced to ponder the likes of fit-again Pat Lambie and Juan Smith.
Having come away from the wet and wild Loftus Versfeld with only an injury before the game to Willem Alberts, Meyer will have a full compliment to pick from when they play Argentina in Salta.
Meyer has now picked up Lions captain Warren Whiteley as cover for Alberts who is staying at home alongside Victor Matfield.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has praised the move to bring veteran flank Juan Smith back into the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship, calling it an ‘unbelievable’ story.
It was reported that Smith – who was told by more than one doctor that his rugby career was over – was included as cover for the injured Victor Matfield in the Bok squad this week ahead of next weekend’s opener against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.
After getting a second chance at Toulon, Smith turned the opportunity into gold with the way he used his new lease on life to craft his way into the Toulon squad and was an integral part in their success in Europe this year.
Experienced international forward Juan Smith has been drafted into the Springbok squad preparing for The Rugby Championship.
Smith was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007 and boasts 69 Test caps. He will join the squad in Johannesburg as replacement following confirmation that Victor Matfield will miss the opening Test of The Rugby Championship against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday 16 August.
Juan Smith has moved closer to a possible recall for the Springboks after his French club Toulon released him along side Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha for the Rugby Championship.
This comes as SARU announced that a 30-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Rugby Championship will only be announced on Saturday 2 August.
This is due to the Sharks still being involved in Super Rugby and lingering injury concerns over certain players.
In April 2012, Smith announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from rugby due to the ongoing battle with his Achilles injury.
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer continues his “Dad’s Army” approach by recalling veteran flanker Juan Smith for a training camp ahead of next month’s Rugby Championship.
French club Toulon confirmed three of their South African signings – Smith, lock Bakkies Botha and wing Bryan Habana – would be involved in the Boks camp.
Smith, 32, hasn’t played for the Boks since 2010 as Achilles injuries requiring four surgeries ravaged his career, eventually forcing him to “retire” early last year.
Juan Smith is set to complete an extraordinary return to Test rugby after being named in South Africa’s squad for a training camp in August, according to Toulon.
Toulon have announced that Smith, along with Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana, have been selected to attend a South African training camp in August.
Smith, who won the Heineken Cup and Top 14 titles with Toulon last season, has been rejuvenated in France after taking an indefinite break from the sport back in 2012 due to a persistent battle with an Achilles injury.
Toulon’s South African contingent capped an unbelievably successful seven days by lifting the Bouclier de Brennus shield in Paris, after defeating Castres 18-10 in the Top 14 Final to go with their Heineken Cup title.
Former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was given the perfect send-off by Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Craig Burden and Bryan Habana, who all started the final, with Danie Rossouw and Michael Claassens appearing off the bench.
The match was Rossouw’s last before retirement and brings down the curtain on a truly glorious career in which he was won every trophy available to him, from league titles in Japan, France and Super Rugby to two Heineken Cups and of course the Rugby World Cup and old Tri-Nations.
The Vodacom Bulls, who have been struggling in the first two Rounds of Super Rugby in 2014 are reportedly hunting the services of Dewald Potgieter, who is currently playing his rugby in the Japanese league and also the services of Juan Smith, who is playing his rugby at Toulon in France.
In the meantime, Frans Ludeke is still adament that backing Louis Fouché is the right thing to do, despite Louis Fouché being dropped from this weekend’s match-day 23.
Today is the third and final day of matches in the first round of the pool stage of the Heineken Cup. In what is arguably the pick of the day’s matches Glasgow Warriors travel to France to take on Toulon. These teams currently top the RabboDirect PRO12 and French Top 14 respectively. The game is due to kick off at 16.00 South African Time.
Rugby World Cup winning South African forward Juan Smith has signed a one year deal with Top 14 Rugby club Toulon.
Springbok flank Juan Smith is set to make his return to the rugby field after passing a medical at French club, Toulon.
Smith, 32, earlier this year retired from rugby after an ongoing Achilles injury which plagued him since the start of 2011, but – as reported earlier this week – he left for France on Sunday with the aim of reviving his career.
Bok 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.
Hy het die afgelope twee jaar ondanks vier operasies moedig vir sy ondersteuners probeer terugveg.
Maar die Springbok-flank Juan Smith het Maandag weens ’n hakseningbesering geen ander keuse gehad as om finaal die gordyn oor sy suksesvolle rugbyloopbaan te laat sak nie.
His brief was just to complete his 30 minutes of rugby and walk off the field uninjured. However his time on the field showed why his return has been so keenly anticipated, not only by the Cheetahs fans but by most rugby lovers. He hardly looked as if he had been away from the game for two years.
Veteran 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.
Juan Smith has joined the Cheetahs and has taken part in the fitness sessions, but hasn’t taken any contact. Juan has been out since February 2011, so it is understandable that the coaches are taking a conservative approach. Apart from Smith, several of the Cheetahs frontline players will not feature in the warm-up match versus the Lions on Saturday.
A final decision regarding the playing future of Springbok flank Juan Smith will now only be made at the end of January.
In years past, this was a position the Cheetahs could make their team selections with their eyes closed. With legends like Juan Smith in particular, giving yeoman service.
Long term injuries and player movements has temporarily thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, resulting in Naka having to recall Hendro Scholtz out of retirement to have a fit flanker in the 2012 Currie Cup.
However the emergence of a few young stars has restored order. Marnus Schoeman has started delivering on the hype anticipated when he was still a junior with the Blue Bulls. Lappies Labuschagne and Justin Downey have grown in their positions, which leaves Naka Drotske spoilt for choice.
The Cheetahs are doing everything within their powers to try and stop loose forward Juan Smith from moving to France.
Former Springbok coach Jake White says it would make sense for current South African mentor Heyneke Meyer to select retired lock Victor Matfield as his captain.
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.
In an exclusive interview with Volksblad’s Hendrik Cronjé, Juan Smith has announced his immediate withdrawal from all rugby for 2012, to fully recover from the injury that has sidelined him since the beginning of 2011. Juan has indicated that he hoped to return to the field of play vs the Lions on Saturday, but after 4 operations, he has still not recovered sufficiently!
News from the City Of Roses is that, one of the leading contenders to Captain the Springboks in 2012, Juan Smith, has not recovered from his injury and is on crutches once again.
The Cheetahs’ Springbok flank Juan Smith has not been included in their pre-season training camp to Jeffreys Bay after experiencing further discomfort in training.
This edition looks at the selection of loose forwards. One area where the Boks, and in particular the Cheetahs have been strong.
This one is lengthy, as a few players have announced themselves during the injury crisis last year. No doubt there will be hot debate, but what is sure is that the Cheetahs have options aplenty, and may just have the most balanced and exciting backrow in SA, and will be one of the best in the tournament!
Let’s hope in the interests of Cheetahs and Bok rugby, that Juan, and Ratel will stay relatively injury free in 2012.
Injured Springbok flank Juan Smith should be ready for the start of the Cheetahs’ Super Rugby campaign and could also feature in a warm-up match.
The latest development in the rugby wheel is the evolution of the second row forward – the left lock or enforcer lock in particular. Traditionally a bulky, abrasive character, the enforcer lock does the donkey work in the tight-loose, bashes opposition forwards into submission and beefs up the set pieces.
Lock Chris Jack will play his 100th game for the Crusaders when he takes the field in the Super Rugby match against the Brumbies at Trafalgar Park, Nelson, on Friday.
Jack, who plays his provincial rugby for Tasman, made his debut for the Crusaders 12 years ago and will start in the number four jersey, replacing Brad Thorn.