Smith set for lucrative Japan move
April 24, 2011
George Smith will leave Toulon at the end of the season © Getty Images
George Smith will leave Toulon at the end of the season to take up a lucrative contract in Japan.
The former Wallabies flanker, capped 110 times at Test level, will join Sanyo Wild Knights in a deal reported to be worth €800,000.
Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal confirmed the news and admitted that the club could not keep hold of the openside, having offered him a deal to remain in France.
The big-spending club have been linked with London Irish's Steffon Armitage in recent weeks, although details of a possible move remain unclear.
"Smith decided to leave for Japan and we can't keep him. Everyone will remember his time here. He has been an exceptional player at all levels," Boudjellal told AFP.
Smith retired from international rugby in February last year and confirmed a move to Toulon in June, ending a long association with the Brumbies at Super Rugby level.
During his time in Canberra he won two titles as well as Player of the Year awards in 2006 and 2009 and four consecutive Australian Super 14 Player of the Year honours.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden