Planet Rugby

Salta was Smith's 'darkest day'

26th August 2014 14:01

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juan smith south africa argentina salta

Rollercoaster: Juan Smith

South Africa flanker Juan Smith has revealed that what should have been a moment of joy in Salta was the lowest of his career.

Smith, who played his first Test for the Springboks in four years after a series of injuries which had previously forced him to retire, was far from his best against Argentina.

The 33-year-old stormed back into contention for his country after an excellent season in France and Europe with Toulon, who he joined after deciding to play again.

But on an emotional day for the well-liked former Cheetahs player, Smith admitted the occasion turned into a nightmare.

"What should have been my finest moment in a Bok jersey turned out to be the darkest day of my rugby career," Smith told Volksblad.

Smith also hit back at criticism over his lack of singing during the national anthem, pointing out that he had been doing his best to keep his emotions at bay.

'The build-up to the Test was very emotional," added Smith.

"During the anthem I had to bite my lip to stop the tears from flowing.

"It's disappointing that people think I have no respect for our national anthem after [playing] 70 Tests."

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