Springbok World Cup hero Kwagga Smith suffers long-term injury in Japan

Springbok World Cup hero Kwagga Smith suffers long-term injury in Japan

World Cup winner Kwagga Smith has joined the Springboks' long list of players currently out of action after it was confirmed he suffered a tendon injury while playing in Japan.

The injury is a serious one - serious enough to potentially rule the dynamic loose forward out of the Boks' two-game series against Ireland in July.

Smith played a vital role off the bench for the Boks in the 2023 World Cup and emerged as one of their most potent weapons whenever he came onto the field - including in the final against the All Blacks.

After the World Cup, Smith returned to Japan, where he captains Japan League One team Shizuoka Blue Revs, but it was announced on Friday that he has sustained an adductor tendon rupture during the match against Cheslin Kolbe's Suntory Sungoliath on January 13th.

It is a long-term injury that is set to keep him out of action for the next five months, which puts him in a race against time to be fit for the Boks' first Test back in action against the Irish on July 6.

Smith joins a growing injury list for the Boks, with fellow World Cup champions Jesse Kriel (thumb) and Faf de Klerk (knee) also both recently undergoing surgery.

Other Springboks currently out of action include RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Jean Kleyn (knee), Bongi Mbonambi (knee) and Vincent Koch (knee).

Frans Malherbe was also out of action with a lower back injury but has been cleared to return for the Stormers. Both Mbonambi and Koch should be back for the Sharks in the next few weeks.

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