George Smith wants to face Lions
March 1, 2013
George Smith has not played for the Brumbies since 2010, or Australia since 2009 © Getty Images
George Smith hopes he can earn Wallabies selection against the British & Irish Lions, having signed a short-term Super Rugby contract with the Brumbies
Smith has joined the Brumbies from Japanese champions Suntory Sungoliath to bolster the Canberra team's Super Rugby campaign, with coach Jake White saying he wants the veteran backrower to help him "bring that winning culture back here to the Brumbies ... to bring back some of the old attitudes and ways of thinking that made the Brumbies such a success in the early days".
But former Brumbies and Australia coach Eddie Jones and former Brumbies and Wallabies teammate George Gregan believe the 110-Test veteran should also be considered for the three-Test series. Smith is open to a Test return, having played for Australia in 2001 as part of the first Wallabies team to win a series against the British & Irish Lions.
Smith, speaking exclusively on Fox Sports' Rugby HQ program on Thursday night, said "George Gregan's done it all and Eddie Jones is a mentor of mine, their opinion I do take on board, and if I was considered for the Wallabies I'd definitely think about it because it is such a huge occasion".
"But first and foremost I have to earn my spot within the Brumbies," Smith said in the exclusive interview
George Smith said he had returned to Australia because he wanted to "test" himself again after playing in the less-intensive Japanese competition.
"It was presented to me a little while ago, a few weeks back," Smith said of contract talks.
"I obviously had time to think about it and I thought it would be a good way to test myself in the Super Rugby arena, and I'm excited about the challenge.
"I've had two good seasons at Suntory Sungoliath and I think this will definitely test me."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup