Smith sidelined for Valke clash

Captain Juan Smith is unavailable for Free State’s match-up with the Valke due to a neck injury.

Much was made about Smith’s involvement in this Friday’s fixture, as Springbok coach Peter de Villiers requested on Monday that the South African flanker be rested. Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said he would not rest Smith unless WP gave their own stars a break, an interesting statement given Allister Coetzee’s assurance his Boks would soldier on.

It seems injury has had the final say, as the knock obtained in the Cheetahs’ recent defeat to the Blue Bulls has ruled Smith out. The Free State skipper is currently in a neck brace and will be replaced by Hendro Scholtz at blindside flank for the clash in Brakpan.