George Smith returns to Brumbies
February 25, 2013
George Smith bade the Brumbies farewell on May 8, 2010 © Getty Images
Former Wallabies star George Smith is returning to Australia to rejoin the Brumbies for the remainder of the Super Rugby season.
Openside flanker Smith, a veteran of 110 Tests, will arrive later this week to take up a short-term contract having helped Japanese club Suntory claim their fifth title on Sunday. He remains contracted to Suntory but is available for an off-season stint, akin to the deal he had with French club Stade Francais in 2012.
Smith, 32, will bolster a strong Brumbies back-row, which already boasts his successor in the Wallabies' No. 7 shirt - David Pocock. Smith, who played 128 games for the Brumbies before heading overseas following the 2010 season, will be available for selection for the Brumbies' next match - against New South Wales Waratahs in Canberra on March 9 after the bye this weekend.
"George's record and ability to win games is outstanding," Brumbies coach Jake White said. "The guy has won Super Rugby Championships, he's won big games for the Wallabies, and he's played in a Rugby World Cup final, so I want him to bring that winning culture back here to the Brumbies. This year we've been trying to bring back some of the old attitudes and ways of thinking that made the Brumbies such a success in the early days."
White said the return of former Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone was also part of that strategy.