Juan Smith

BullsDewald PotgieterJuan SmithThe 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.

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Heineken CupToday 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.

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Juan SmithSpringbok 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.

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Juan SmithHy 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.

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Juan SmithHis 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.

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CheetahsJuan 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.

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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.

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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!

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Time for the Cheetahs to look the part! Watch out boys, we can bite! Ha ha.

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.

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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.

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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.

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