Former Springboks, Free State Cheetahs and Toulon flanker Juan Smith has announced that he is set to retire from all forms of rugby.
The 2007 World Cup winner is currently plying his trade in Japan’s Top League for Toyota Verblitz.
Smith joined Verblitz earlier this year, after a four-year spell at Toulon, recently hinted that he would extend his stint in Japan, but Verblitz announced that the 36-year-old will retire at the weekend.
Smith accumulated 70 Test caps for the Springboks scoring 12 tries.
“We would like to announce that Juan Smith is unable to continue playing rugby in Top League, due to family reasons,” the club said via a press statement.
“After discussing the situation with Juan and the team’s managerial members, it is very regrettable to announce that the match against TL 9 Toyota Shokki Shuttles will be Juan’s last match in his rugby playing career.
“We apologise to our supporters for this announcement. However, we thank you for your understanding.”
Smith confirmed the news by saying: “I am disappointed to announce that I am going to retire from my rugby career after the match against Toyota Shokki Shuttles.
“I was going to carry on my rugby playing career with my coach Jake White, however, I would like to say thank you to all my team-mates, coaching staff at Toyota Verblitz. Also to all my supporters and family members, too.
“I was looking forward to winning the championship with my team-mates, however, this was a decision which had to be decided on.
“I am wishing that the Toyota Verblitz team plays well in the competitions, and I hope that I’m able to support the team from my end as much as I can as a Toyota family member.
“Thank you very much for having me even though it was only for a short period of time. Good luck.”