Brumbies coach Jake White says it’s highly unlikely veteran flanker George Smith will be ready to return to the Wallabies for the second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
A standout for the Brumbies in his return to Super Rugby this year, Smith was in pole position to wear the Wallabies’ coveted No.7 jumper until he suffered a grade-two medial ligament tear in the Brumbies’ loss to the NSW Waratahs on May 18.
A best-case scenario meant the 110-Test veteran could have been back playing within four weeks, just in time to have a historic second crack at the Lions for the second Test in Melbourne on June 29.
However White poured cold water over those hopes on Friday.
“I don’t think he’s going to be ready for (the second Test),” White said.
“He would like to believe that he can be, but I think to go from literally a couple of weeks ago getting injured to going straight into a second Test match is highly unlikely.
“But at the same time, if Robbie (Deans) thinks it’s in the best interests of the Wallabies and George feels he can add value I have no doubt that they would look at him.”
While it’s believed Smith is ticking all the boxes to be fit for the third Test in Sydney on July 6, he would most likely only get a run that deep into the series if the Wallabies encountered injuries to current openside options Michael Hooper and Liam Gill.