Smith’s Brumbies return is fate: White

By David Barbeler, David Barbeler is a Roar Guru

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    Brumbies coach Jake White describes George Smith’s return to the Brumbies as fate playing itself out.

    Captain Ben Mowen goes one better and describes it as a “dream result”.

    Call it what you will, there’s no denying the 110-Test veteran’s return to the nation’s capital couldn’t have been timed any better.

    The season-ending knee injury suffered by star Wallabies flanker David Pocock in Saturday night’s 35-6 win over the Waratahs could have been a devastating blow to the unbeaten Brumbies’ Super Rugby title ambitions.

    But fortunately for White and the Brumbies they had arguably Australia’s greatest No.7 waiting on the bench for the first time since leaving Australian rugby in 2010.

    The 32-year-old Smith may have played the last of his 110 Tests back in 2009, but he was impressive on his return to Canberra Stadium, making 18 tackles and forcing turnovers on at least three occasions.

    He also surprised the Waratahs by feigning a reverse in attack from the ruck base to set up Henry Speight’s 72nd-minute try.

    Smith is on a short-term loan from Japanese club Suntory during their off-season break.

    Whether the Brumbies can now extend their loan of Smith to see out the whole season would be entirely up to the Japanese club.

    However with a long way to go in his stay, White was patently thrilled to have his experience to call on to share the workload and also mentor young openside flanker Colby Faingaa.

    “It shows you how fate plays out … it’s just fantastic how things have worked out now that George has arrived,” White said.

    “It’s not nice on Poey, but at the same time it just shows how important depth is in this competition and when you have depth like George it’s even better.”

    An ARU spokesman told AAP on Sunday that the situation regarding Smith returning to the Test arena for the British and Irish Lions tour in June had not changed as he remained ineligible to play for the Wallabies.

    However Smith has previously admitted that playing in the three-Test Lions series had, at the very least, piqued his interest.

    “Look I’m not going to lie to you it is enticing, but I think it’s premature to be thinking about that,” Smith told reporters two weeks ago.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • March 10th 2013 @ 7:38pm
      Hightackle said | March 10th 2013 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

      Was a bit lucky.

    • March 10th 2013 @ 9:43pm
      Bakkies said | March 10th 2013 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

      Suntory’s connection with the Brumbies through Eddie Jones may help. I say Jake White will need him for the whole season as Colby Faingaa is also prone to injuries. Faingaa missed a fair amount of Rugby last season with a lower leg injury. Back up to Faingaa will have to be a EPS or a club player if Smith has to leave.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 5:32am
      mania said | March 11th 2013 @ 5:32am | ! Report

      wow smith was awesome and as the game got on he just got better. hopefully deans doesnt grab smith for WB’s.
      this was the first game where i watched an entire 80 mins of folau. not impressed. sure its early days yet but those calling for folau to make the test team are delusional. i saw folau twice once he got monstered and then he got monstered and driven into touch.
      georgeSmith deserves a call up first but luckily most people will say that gill and hooper are better players. please stick to to your guns and do not let smith play bledisloe. the AB’s are vulnerable to losing the bled this year as theyve already reached the 10 game straight mile stone. smith would just be the kind of player that could help take our bledisloe.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 5:04pm
      niwdeyaj said | March 11th 2013 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

      Wallabies will NEED George for the Lions. Sure, Hooper and Gill have shown a truckload of promise but it’s still very early days in their respective careers and against the Lions, experience trumps all the promise shown by Hooper and Gill combined. And it’s not like George is past it, that argument could be made if we were discussing bringing back Giteau or someone like that, but George is still right up there as a performer – he comfortably outplayed Hooper on the weekend in my opinion.

      If I were Robbie Deans, I’d be on the blower to Eddie Jones, apologizing on behalf of the ARU and begging for his blessings to let George stay for the Lions.

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