Rugby Championship: Juan Smith called up by South Africa
Last Updated: 06/08/14 8:43am
Juan Smith has been added to the South Africa squad for the Rugby Championship with Victor Matfield on the sidelines.
The experienced Toulon forward will link up with the Springboks in Johannesburg on Thursday after confirmation that Matfield will miss the opening Test with Argentina on Saturday with a knee injury.
Matfield was hurt in training ahead of the Pretoria clash and scans showed he had sustained a small tear to his cartilage.
Juan has been in sublime form and recently won the very tough French Top 14 league and the Heineken Cup with Toulon.
"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," South Africa coach Heyneke 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 number eight.
"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 per cent 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."
Watch South Africa's opening Rugby Championship clash with Argentina live on Sky Sports 3 HD on August 16 from 4:05pm.