Juan Smith

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Juan Smith
Juan Smith.jpg
Full name Juanne Hugo Smith
Date of birth (1981-07-30) 30 July 1981 (age 32)
Place of birth Bloemfontein, South Africa
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 112 kg (17 st 9 lb)
School JBM Hertzog High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker or Number eight
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2013– Toulon
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2002–11 Cheetahs 18 (20)
correct as of 19 April 2012.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–05
2006–11
Cats
Cheetahs
31
47
(55)
(35)
correct as of 19 April 2012.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–10 South Africa 69 (60)
correct as of 9 April 2012.

Juan Hugo Smith (born 30 July 1981 in Bloemfontein, South Africa) is a South African rugby union footballer who has represented South Africa in international test rugby, the Vodacom Cheetahs in the Super Rugby competition and the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup. Smith plays as a blindside flanker, although he has also played number eight.

Career[edit]

Smith made his international debut for South Africa on 7 June 2003 as a reserve in the 29-25 victory over Scotland at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. He was also named in the Springboks' team for the second Scottish Test the following week. He then played at number 8 during the 2003 Tri Nations Series against Australia and the All Blacks.

Smith was included in the Springboks squad for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia. He played in four matches at the World Cup and scored a try in the match against Manu Samoa. Although he only played the one Test for South Africa during 2004 – against Wales at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in November, he was capped 10 times for the Springboks the following season.

He was a reserve in matches against Uruguay and France, before being moving up into the starting line-up again as a flanker for the 2005 Tri Nations Series. The Free State Cheetahs made it to the 2005 Currie Cup final, where they defeated the Blue Bulls to win the championship. He then played in the 20-16 loss against France at Stade de France in Paris.

The Cheetahs gained entrance into the Super 14, and competed in the 2006 season. Smith captained the side, which ended up doing remarkably well for a new team, and the Cheetahs finished above the other new team, the Western Force, as well as three other Super 14 teams. He played in the 2006 mid-year rugby tests wins over Scotland, as well as the loss against France in South Africa, then being named in the Springboks' 2006 Tri Nations Series squad.

Smith was a key part of the World Cup-winning team to lift the Webb Ellis trophy in 2007. Although Smith wears the number seven on the back of his shirt, implying that he is an open side flanker, he is actually a blindside flanker, as the custom in South Africa is for openside to wear the number six rather than seven. Renowned for his strong ball carrying, Smith is one of the best blindside flankers in the world.

On 25 February 2011, in a Super Rugby match against the Bulls in Bloemfontein, Smith tore his Achilles tendon, which caused him to miss the rest of the 2011 Super Rugby season, as well as the Tri Nations and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

In April 2012, Smith announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from rugby due to the ongoing battle with his Achilles injury.[1] He had had four operations on the injury but was concerned that the recovery was taking longer than he had hoped. "The right thing to do now is to give my injury sufficient time to heal 100%," Smith said in an interview with the Volksblad newspaper.[1]

Despite making his long-awaited comeback for the Cheetahs playing against the Bulls in a pre-season game in February 2013, the results of a subsequent MRI scan forced Smith to announce his retirement from the game.[2][3]

On 10 September 2013 it was announced that Smith had been persuaded to come out of retirement and had signed a deal with RC Toulonnais.[4]

Honours[edit]

South Africa u21
Free State Cheetahs
South Africa
Toulon

References[edit]

External links[edit]