SA Rugby confirms Smith withdrawal

August 18, 2011
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The Springboks have received a massive blow with the news that star flank Juan Smith will not be available for the World Cup.


Looseforward Juan Smith will not be considered for the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad because of injury. Smith made the decision to rule himself out of contention on Wednesday and informed Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

“Juan had been in a race against time to be fit and we were keen to give him every opportunity to prove himself available,” said de Villiers on Thursday.

“He is understandably very disappointed – as are we – but he has made the right decision. A fully fit Juan Smith would have been an enormous asset to our campaign and he this is a major disappointment.

“But it was obvious that he was still some way from full fitness and his decision confirms the advice of our medical team. Out of respect for a great Springbok, we wanted to leave the door open until the last moment for him.”

The 69-Test veteran injured his Achilles in a Vodacom Super Rugby match for the Toyota Cheetahs in February.

Smith said: “I’ve worked very hard to get back on the training field but I’m still some way from full fitness and have been training with quite a lot of pain. I’d been trying to tell myself that I’d come right but that wasn’t going to happen.

“This is a huge blow to me. The Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of any player’s career and I was looking forward to our attempt to become the first team to win the title in successive tournaments.”

The Springbok Rugby World Cup squad will be announced live on SuperSport 1 from 19h30 on Tuesday, August 23.

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33 Comments

  1. avatar Morné says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Fuck.

  2. avatar JT_Proooooovince! says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    ai – sad but hope some others take his lead and stop lying to themselves!! :whistling:

  3. avatar mawm- the ever-so-hopeful-shark says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    ‘Player of the tournament’ for me in 2007 – and now showing a great amount of integrity.

    As JT said: – I hope that lots of others in the Springbok set up take heed. But they won’t because there is too much money to be lost. :soek:

  4. avatar Kevin_rack says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Reply to Morné @ 10:51 pm: Yeah double fuck.

    They dont make Boks like this any more…true to his province, true to himslef and true to his fans. The last of the true warriors…

    Some people are greater than the money offered to them.

    Will be misses at RWC.

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Jeez it must be gutting to end it like this… but we pretty much all knew nobody comes out of a injury like this with their former speed in tact… and he’d simply not be the player without it…

    Considering how he puts his body on the line every game and his umpteenth concussion… it’s probably best for his health in hindsight too…

    One of the true legend loose-forwards of all-time along with the Andre Venters etc etc

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny)Bokke!!! says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Reply to Morné @ 10:51 pm: Ye

  7. avatar Asteroth's Limping Lions says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Arse.

  8. avatar pietploos says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:43 am

    OK – NOW I am starting to worry!!

  9. avatar LionsinPTA says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Reply to pietploos @ 8:43 am:

    Only now??? :what:

    I’ve beeen worring since PDivvy took charge! :soek:

  10. avatar Peter "i started a joke" Divs needs our support! says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    ja ja I know legend and all that, but Juan has not been very effective over the past 2 years. In fact I always hoped he would get injured as the Cheetahs are more effective without him.

    He is a key proponent of the class of 2007 ‘lets-give-all-the-good-ball-to-slumbering-giants’ vibe and thus kills more play than he makes.

  11. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Reply to Peter “i started a joke” Divs needs our support! @ 12:54 pm:

    As stated on TheRugbyClub a few minutes ago… a huge loss as he’s renowned as the Bok’s most effective tackler by some yards…

  12. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    As an aside… the Kiwi commentators during the ‘across the ditch’ segment… now have Werner Swanepoel commentating and giving the Japie angle… when last was he in RSA?

    They’ve also just given Jake White big raps… and shown footage of him ALREADY working with the young team on drills, getting combo’s sorted and most notably into extensive conditioning programs… for NEXT year’s S15…

    Unlike someone else eh…

  13. avatar DavidS says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:34 pm:

    They’rer actually all just plants by PDiv to sell us the idea that our rugby style is somehow effective whereas the truth is we should immediately start playing like the Reds and repent or dom Boer ways and fall crying at the feet of the gods of “running rugby”

    Repent you sinning bastards!

  14. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 1:53 pm:

    shhhh!

  15. avatar DavidS says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Run Run Run as fast as you can

    You can’t catch me

    I’m a Reds man!!!

    Big dumb Boars kicking up-and-unders and crashing the ball up with props and locks

    Repent Repent Repent or you will be sacrificed on an altar of fire and running flames and shock and awe of speed…

  16. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Was good to see old ‘Smiley’ again… but jeez he’s not much better than Stransky and others as a commentator…

    Even Brosnihan came across better ‘live’ from RSA…

  17. avatar DavidS says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 2:00 pm:

    Okay…

    I’m going to see my shrink now… hopefully no more fragmentary episodes…

  18. avatar Peter "i started a joke" Divs needs our support! says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:34 pm:

    effective tackler. fair point. But he gest selected as a ball carrier and this is where he lacks penetration thesedays. He also loses ball in contact (ala Danie Roussouw) and has an awkward body position going into the tackle.

    Reply to DavidS @ 2:11 pm:

    janee oom gaan draai bietjie skroewe vas. ek weetnie hoeveel keer die realiteit nog aan die deur moet klop voor oom oopmaak nie. Rugby is toe in 2011 hoor ek. Blykbaar was 2009 twee jaar terug en rather shockingly is 2007 nou vier jaar terug? Het iemand die boere vertel?

  19. avatar JT_Proooooovince! says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Reply to Peter “i started a joke” Divs needs our support! @ 3:57 pm:

    howzit boet – do you think that after RWC with new management SA could re-invent itself to the game play that you wish for – some of us as well but not as over the top ;-)
    Do you think SA can do it, starting by selecting players that can play the Reds type of game for IMO example:
    1. Coennie
    2. Strauss/Burden
    6. Brussouw
    7. Keegan
    8. Johnson
    9. Hougie
    10. Sias/Elton
    11. JJ
    12. Lambie/AD Jacobs
    13. Mapoe/Robert Eber../Sadie
    14. JPP
    15. Taute
    3,4 & 5 is a bit :Dawie:
    Exciting but what about defense?

  20. avatar JT_Proooooovince! says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Reply to JT_Proooooovince! @ 4:22 pm:

    I looked for players that I have seen successfully off-load and make play for support runners – maybe not ALL the time but on a regular basis.

  21. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Reply to JT_Proooooovince! @ 4:22 pm:

    The Reds have around 10kgs on average on that team… they’d get SMASHED!

    Higginbotham alone would eat that loose-forward trio for breakfast…

    Have you been watching Ashley Johnson in his return CC games… woeful defence… and his handling/linking is non-existent… the guy is out of shape too!

    http://www.rugbynews.co.nz/images/articles/articleLarge_Springboks%20woeful.jpg

  22. avatar gsp27 says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Play kankowski ahead of Johnson

  23. avatar DavidS says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Maybe we should remember what we are good at and play to those strengths.

    1. Physicality
    2. Defence
    3. Good kicking
    4. Big strong straight runners

    And take the airy fairy 2001 Brumbies shit the Reds reinvented (miskien moet jy ook wakker skrik en weer gaan kyk na diue geskiedenis van rugby voor jy te veel kak praat en jouself sopmmer toekak van al die kakpraat klonkie) and leave it for Australia to play… after all… they need an occasional morsel to feel good about themselves…

  24. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:20 pm:

    Reds and Aus have all of that too…

    Fark me did you see their loose-forwards this last week… excellent balance and impact across the 22…

  25. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:20 pm:

    Agreed… but the plain obvious thing has been that they have regressed in those areas have not even stagnated… not to mention where we were great in 2009 passing/cleaning/rucking/handling we are woeful now…

    Boks should be getting everything drilled into them more to a> return to previous levels in their traditional strengths and with benchmarks (huh… what are those Snor asks) set to surpass, refine, improve… as well as working on their traditional weaknesses with benchmarks (Snor shakes his head and asks if that’s a relative of Bismark) set to surpass, refine, improve…

    This is exactly why I want someone like HM in charge next… the guy will surround himself with pro’s and if he cannot find any… he’ll go hunting like he did with the innovative Todd Louden…

  26. avatar DavidS says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The problem with certain “elements” bryce as that they mistake poor execution by individual players for a poor gameplan…

  27. avatar JT_Proooooovince! says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:20 pm:

    Playing to our strengths does not mean we can’t expand and ADD something to our strengths…
    Instead of coaching our big players to play a certain way and coaching the small guys to play a certain way we can get the Big guys to broaden their skill!? Just a wee bit… :whistling:

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:48 am:

    So true! And just because SA use 2 or 3 kick and chase option durimg a game we have that game plan :roll: although the oppo kick more than we do. :Dawie:

  28. avatar Peter "i started a joke" Divs needs our support! says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Reply to JT_Proooooovince! @ 4:22 pm:

    to say we must simply copy the REDS would be wrong. SA has certain strengths that we do not want to lose. Its simply a matter of embracing a different skill set and play with a more creative mentality – which is not at all the same as ‘play what’s in front of you’ because in the SA context this translates to fatarses lounging in the backline – as has happened in 2008 when peter gave the players freedom.

    The try by Matfield in 2005 (I think?) after a break by Brent Russel against Oz, and again the freescoring game against Oz at Ellis Park in 2008 is for me what we should embrace.

    Our forwards hunt as a unit, but every good ball goes wide. Its no use laying a platform with your forward, only for good ball to also go to forwards. You effectively kill your own momentum?

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:48 am:

    I say the truth contains a bit of both. Players are not motivated by this gameplan. Believing in it is different to actually liking it and being inspired by it.

    I have no doubt that Habana and JPP and Lambie etc would love to play a more creative game. Just see how Beale, O connor etc enjoy playing – while our guys are so serious all the time?

    So in effect the gameplan IS wrong as the players cannot flourish under it. 2009 was nice – we were winning. But you were never going to convince SA backline players (who contrary to belief are very creative) to play that conservative bullocks game in and out.

    In 2010 already Pieter Roussouw had the bulls backline set the tone for what backline play should be (copied with success by crusaders this year). Then comes 2010 year end tour and these players are once more expected to be donkeys.

    Mismatch.

  29. avatar Peter "i started a joke" Divs needs our support! says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Reply to JT_Proooooovince! @ 8:59 am:

    its scary to think we kick the least of 3N teams yet our few kicks are still less effective. Morne in Super rugby 2010 had a brilliant kicking strategy going.

    He is actually a very creative player. Not as a runner maybe, but his passing game is good and his kicking game can be fantastic if you back him to make the odd mistake whilst trying things.

    See the try by meisiekind in 2010 after a brilliantly executed banana kick by Morne.

    Pity for the boks our players are told “this is test rugby – a different animal” and thus they play super conservative. Yet you see the all black 15 chipping over us from his own 22 ending with a try on the other side.

    He who dares wins.

    He who tries not to lose, will lose.

  30. avatar DavidS says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Is there a sensible straight talking brain cell in your head or did you leave all of them in Yeoville, Ireland, Bethlehem and Clarens before you had to hand in the last few and sign for their keeping in triplicate upon entering Cape Town…

  31. avatar Timeo says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Reply to Peter “i started a joke” Divs needs our support! @ 11:08 am:

    I agree with you Shieldsie but we will need a coach with the presence and the confidence to get the players to sign on and the stature to survive the onslaughts when things go awry.

    His approach will have to be a proven success at Super Rugby level in South Africa already. Such a coach would be…….

    Nobody, right now.

  32. avatar JT_Proooooovince! says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Reply to Timeo @ 5:00 pm:

    John Mitchell :whistling:
    His record with the AB’s is bloody good and “hy vat nie kak nie” which the saffas need ;-)

  33. avatar Timeo says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Reply to JT_Proooooovince! @ 5:10 pm:

    Perhaps once he has taken the Lions to the SR trophy.

    I won’t hold my breath.

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