Deans rejects George Smith as Lions tamer
March 8, 2013
George Smith and David Pocock teamed well against Wales in Cardiff in 2009 © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has no intention of selecting George Smith against the British & Irish Lions, even though the 110-Test veteran has flagged his interest in the proposal.
Deans doesn't begrudge Smith for leaving Australia in 2010, and he won't run the line through the 32-year-old, but he prefers to concentrate on "realities" with David Pocock the clear first-choice openside flanker ahead of Michael Hooper and Liam Gill.
"It's obviously a short-term contract so there's no point in second guessing," Deans said on Thursday of Smith's potential availability. "He's not a possibility for us right now. Hopefully we won't need to [investigate his availability further] ... I'd rather chase realities."
Deans is excited, however, to consider the potential effect on Pocock of Smith's presence at the Brumbies.
The coach remembers fondly the 2009 Test against Wales in Cardiff, where Pocock and Smith combined to deliver Australia an emphatic 33-12 victory.
Smith plays his first match for the Brumbies this season from the bench against the Waratahs on Saturday, meaning Pocock may have less time on the field and hence will be kept relatively fresh.
"It will give David some respite and not worry about if he gets pulled because he knows he's got someone capable of filling the void if he leaves the ground," Deans said. "I've got no doubt you'll see them driving each other."
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry