George Smith done with Test rugby
July 7, 2013
George Smith's Test career ended on a sour and painful note © Getty Images
Wallabies great George Smith admits his international sign-off was one of the most painful of his 111-Test career.
Smith's first Test in four years ended in a record 41-16 thumping at the hands of the British & Irish Lions on Saturday night after the 32-year-old open-side flanker was flattened early and lucky to last more than five minutes.
"Obviously I'm disappointed and devastated with the result. I didn't envisage this result to happen," said Smith, who returned from a sickening head clash with Lions hooker Richard Hibbard but was uncharacteristically ineffective at the breakdown.
"It obviously affected me. You saw me snake dancing off the field. I passed the (concussion) tests that were required within those five minutes and I got out there. But the impact that I envisioned before the game, coming out to do it, didn't eventuate. That's my role to disrupt play within that breakdown area. I don't think I did that well enough. We gave them some quick ball. We gave them the ability to play ball and they punished us."
Smith conceded it was perhaps the first time he'd ever walked off the field feeling as he did.
Australia slump to a heavy defeat at the hands of the Lions (video available in Australia only)%]
"Maybe because of the magnitude of the game and what it meant to me," he said. "I've been disappointed with losses, there's no doubt about that. But because it was such a big game and a big score as well, I'm disappointed."
Turning 33 next week, Smith insisted he was done with Test rugby and the champion openside will now focus on helping the Brumbies try to win the Super Rugby title before returning to his Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath.
"I've had a great career," he said. "I'm very fortunate to have been considered for this series as well. I think it's time for the young guys and the guys who have been working hard within Australian rugby to have a chance."