Springboks call on Juan Smith

South Africa have called up Juan Smith for the Rugby Championship as injury cover for Victor Matfield.
Matfield is ruled out of the opener against Argentina next week so head coach Heyneke Meyer has called on veteran Smith who came out of retirement last year and went on to help Toulon lift the Top14 and the Heineken Cup.
“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,” Meyer said.
“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 line-outs 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.”

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