Cheetahs delay call on Smith

The Cheetahs will make their final decision on signing Juan Smith in January.

Reports on Monday indicated that Smith had fully recovered from his Achilles injury that has restricted his playing time over the last two years. The flank last played for the Springboks in 2010 while he missed the entire 2012 season to focus on his rehabilitation.

The 32-year-old is currently considering several overseas offers, with French club Bayonne considered the favourite to land his signature.

However, Cheetahs head coach Naka Drotske said they will decide on persuading the player to stay in Bloemfontein in January, when he is set to undergo an extensive medical examination.

‘Juan is still working very hard with our conditioning coach,’ Drotske told ‘He’s set to take a fitness test in January. If all things work out well, we will do our best to keep him in South Africa.’

Smith told this site in October: ‘Right now, I’m focused on my rehab. We’ll see how things go over the next few months. If a good deal comes my way, whether it’s from local or overseas teams, I’ll take it.’

By Gareth Duncan