Smith: It was my darkest day

Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok flank Juan Smith has described last Saturday's Test against Argentina in Salta as the darkest day in his rugby career.

Smith returned to the Test fold for the first time since 2010 when he started against the Argentines.

However, it was not Smith's best ever performance and he was replaced by Marcell Coetzee early in the second half as the Boks sneaked a 33-31 win.

He was on Monday also left out of the Bok squad for the Australasian leg of the Rugby Championship as Willem Alberts was recalled.

In an interview with Volksblad, Smith admitted it was not his best day at the office.

"What should have been my finest moment in a Bok jersey turned out to be the darkest day of my rugby career," said a despondent Smith.

Smith also copped criticism for not singing the national anthem before the game. He said he decided not to because he was afraid of bursting into tears.

"The build-up to the Test was very emotional. During the anthem I had to bite my lips to stop the tears from flowing. It's disappointing that people think I have no respect for our national anthem after (playing) 70 Tests."

But Smith said he took the criticism on the chin and vowed to work hard to get a Springbok recall.

He has been placed on standby in case Alberts is not fit to depart for Australia on Saturday.

Springbok squad to travel to Australasia:

Forwards:
Willem Alberts, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Lodewyk de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Francois Louw, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Marcel van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen

Backs:
Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, Handré Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn
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