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Bok flanker Smith to make return against Stormers

Cheetahs flanker Juan Smith will get some game time this weekend

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Article Published: Tuesday 29 January 2013|

Springbok and Cheetahs flanker Juan Smith will make his long awaited return to rugby when the Cheetahs play the Stormers in a Super Rugby warm-up game to be held in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Smith has not played rugby since he ruptured his Achilles playing Super Rugby against the Bulls on February the 24th 2011.

The twenty-nine-year-old will get a chance to prove his fitness this weekend and if all goes well again a week later against the Bulls in the Cheetahs second warm up match.

Smith started training last week with the Cheetahs and due to his long injury absence is currently without a contract and will play for match fees alone.

"Juan is ready to play. He will probably get 15 minutes against the Stormers and 30 minutes against the Bulls," backline coach Hawies Fourie told Volksblad.

"This will allow us to possibly consider him for our first Super game - against the Sharks."

The Cheetahs will fielding a second string string team but still hoping for a better performance against the Stormers after they lost 33-17 to former Super Rugby team the Lions.

The Cheetahs are however expected to name a full strength team in their trial match against former champions the Bulls.

Coach Fourie said that the Cheetahs would use more than 22 players in the trial against the Stormers with flank Lappies Labuschagne (ankle), No 8 Philip van der Walt (knee), fullback Willie le Roux (groin) and centre Johann Sadie (hamstring) expected to make their comebacks.

Cheetahs captain and Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss who was rested for the Lions trial match could feature this week for a few minutes.

The Cheetahs start their 2013 Super Rugby campaign against the Sharks at the Free State Stadium on Saturday, February 23.

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