Juan Smith drafted into Springbok squad



Experienced international forward Juan Smith has been drafted into the Springboks’ squad preparing for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Smith is a Rugby World Cup winner in 2007 who has 69 Test caps to his name. He will join the squad in Johannesburg as replacement following confirmation that Victor Matfield will miss the opening Test of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship next Saturday in Pretoria against Argentina.

“Our need at this stage is to draft in a player who can cover lock and loose forward, and we feel Juan is the right man for the job,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“He has played lock before in his career and won an Under-21 World Cup in that position, but he also covers flank and No 8.

“I spoke to him on various occasions and he’s comfortable with playing in the second row again if the need arises. However, as a number of our loose forwards have had a very high work load this season, it’s good to have someone such as Juan who can also provide cover in those positions.“Furthermore he is a brilliant exponent in the lineouts and will bring experience and leadership to the squad. We wanted to involve him in June as I really want to work with him, but he was not 100% fit and asked not to be considered.

“Juan has been in sublime form and recently won the very tough French Top 14 league and the Heineken Cup with Toulon. I’ve always held him in very high esteem and I know he will add value to our squad.”

Smith will join the Springboks in Johannesburg on Thursday.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Great to see him back on a field let alone the test field…

    However Jacques Potgieter is the form opensider/flanker in the land…

  2. Great story of redemption. This is no sentimental selection by either…JS is a former Cheetah – HM would rather eat glass than go that way though as shown with Messerschmitt-Willie, he can set his personal bias aside for pedigree.
    That’s why he’s such a great coach.

  3. @bryce_in_oz:

    Bryce, Juan plays blindside. Louw is our opensider.

    I do not think Meyer will drop any of Alberts, Schalk or Juan to make room for Potgieter on the blindside.