Smith to break Gregan's Brumbies record
April 30, 2013
George Smith will move to fourth on the all-time Super Rugby capped players' list © Getty Images
The two sides met in three Super Rugby grand finals early in champion flanker Smith's career, with the men from Canterbury getting the wood over the Brumbies two to one. And there's added motivation for Smith in his milestone 137th game for the Canberra-based franchise as the Crusaders beat them to claim the last finals spot in 2010.
"My last game with the Brumbies before coming back was against the Crusaders in Christchurch and I didn't achieve that last goal that I wanted to get, and it was a loss, so I'd like to get a win against them," 32-year-old Smith said on Tuesday. "We've always had huge rivalries with them over the years and I expect no different."
Having made his debut in 2000, Smith will move to fourth on the all-time Super Rugby capped players' list behind only fellow Test greats Nathan Sharpe (162), Keven Mealamu (141) and former Brumbies team-mate Stirling Mortlock (139), who finished his career at the Melbourne Rebels.
He said he didn't think he could claim Gregan's record upon returning from Japan to the Brumbies on a short-term deal in 2013 as he expected to be on the bench behind Wallabies star David Pocock, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in round two.
"To have that massive blow for the Brumbies was unfortunate, but to get as many minutes as I have and to play reasonable football ... I'm really enjoying the time I'm here," Smith said. "To pass George Gregan, who has been a close friend and also a mentor of mine, I'm very pleased to reach this milestone."