Juan Smith Retires:

Springbok and Cheetahs loose forward Juan Smith has announced his retirement from rugby due to an ongoing Achilles injury which has hindered him since February 2011.

Smith was originally injured in the opening Super Rugby game in February 2011, ironically against the Blue Bulls as well and had to fight his way back through pain as well as operations, all the while never giving up the hope of returning to the field again.

He made a comeback in the pre-season victory against the Stormers on Saturday, where he played the entire second half in Polokwane against the Bulls, whereafter his coach Naka Drotske praised him and talked of how proud he was to have him ready for Super Rugby again.

Unfortunately the situation changed yesterday and a negative MRI scan confirmed the worst fears.

Smith confirmed the retirement, saying he was encouraged every time by the fans to try and return.

Smith’s career has been a LEGENDARY one and formed a great loose trio with Pierre Spies and Schalk Burger in his prime. Smith was the rock in Jake White’s Springbok team and starred in the World Cup victory in 2007. He also won the Currie Cup with the Cheetahs in 2005 and Tri-Nations in 2009 with the Boks.