Veteran Springbok flanker Juan Smith has retired from rugby with immediate effect due to a family health issue.
Smith made his debut for the Springboks in 2003 against Scotland in Durban and earned 70 Test caps. He was part of World Cup, Tri-Nations and Lions series-winning squads.
The 36-year-old played Super Rugby and Currie Cup for the Cheetahs and Cats before he was forced to retire due to an ongoing Achilles tendon injury in 2013.
Later that same year, he came out of retirement to join Toulon, where he went on to win the French Top 14 title and two European Champions Cups.
Smith joined Toyota Verblitz in June earlier this year, but on Wednesday the Japanese club confirmed Smith’s imminent departure.
‘I was looking forward to working with coach Jake White and my teammates as we competed for the league championship,’ said Smith. ‘But I have decided to retire and am so sorry. I wish Verblitz every success for the rest of the season.’