Juan Smith calls it a day

Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok and Cheetahs loose forward Juan Smith has announced his retirement from rugby due to an ongoing Achilles injury which has plagued him since February 2011.

The 31-year-old - who missed most of the last two seasons due to the injury - confirmed the news of his retirement to Volksblad's sport editor, Hendrik Cronjé, on Monday.

Smith made his return to the playing field after a two-year absence against the Stormers last Saturday, and also had a solid game for the Cheetahs against the Bulls over the weekend.

However, an MRI scan on Monday forced the 69-Test veteran to call it a day.

Smith thanked his fans and family for standing by him through trying times.

"Were it not for the fans and my family, then I probably would have made the decision to retire much earlier.

"It was the fans who gave me the courage to - after several disappointing operations - attempt to make a comeback to the rugby field this year.

"I appreciate all the support I received through the years from my family, Bok- and especially Free State supporters."

Smith will now take a week-long holiday with his family, before deciding on the next step in his life.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Juan Smith will surely go down in history as one of the greatest-ever Springbok players. How will you always remember him? Send your well-wishes to Smith for his future endeavours to Sport24.
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