Smith unlikey for second Lions Test: White

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    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.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • June 14th 2013 @ 3:52pm
      WRM said | June 14th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

      He wont play unless there is injuries.

      • June 14th 2013 @ 4:31pm
        niwdeyaj said | June 14th 2013 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

        Thanks for clarifying that for us Robbie..

        • June 14th 2013 @ 5:50pm
          Roarer said | June 14th 2013 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

          He / She is entitled to their opinion: niwdeyaj.

          • June 14th 2013 @ 6:29pm
            niwdeyaj said | June 14th 2013 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

            “He won’t play unless there is injuries” is a statement, not an opinion… a statement even made in Robbie Deans’ version of English, the Australian-English version would be: “He won’t play unless there ARE injuries”…

            WRM’s constant defence of Robbie despite the obvious failings only really makes sense if he was Robbie himself!

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2013 @ 6:36pm
              AdamS said | June 14th 2013 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

              The reality is that if he is that line ball, he shouldn’t play at all.

          • June 14th 2013 @ 8:42pm
            WRM said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

            Niwd Im afraid its a statement based on an opinion. Thats pretty obvious there champ.

            Stop sulking because I dont share your hate for Deans and point out what I see as obvious flaws out in your argument. Im well aware that you dont want to hear it but if you are going to attack Deans for things expect your opinion to be questioned. I dont care if Deans stays or goes but I do object to vilification without good cause and thats what you do in my opinion. I would do it for any player or coach if thats what I think you are doing.

            I dont think Cooper should be in the team because he hasnt played well for Australia and he is a risk that does not pay off at international level. Its got nothing to do with Deans and has everything to do with Quade not playing well and then blaming the team culture/environment for it. I blame Cooper for Cooper playing poorly but that is not the done thing.
            I wont call you Quade Cooper for objecting to everything Deans does and I dont expect you to call me Deans because I DONT object to everything he does.

            Dont be such a baby. Even making a point of mistake in grama. Grow up Niwd and stop getting all stoppy because I disagree with your hate for Deans and uncoditional support for Quade “2010” Cooper.

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2013 @ 8:56pm
              AdamS said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

              You’re opinion is worthless.
              That’s a statement.
              My opinion on the matter wouldn’t be so kind.

              • June 14th 2013 @ 9:12pm
                WRM said | June 14th 2013 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

                No thats not a statement Adam. Thats a sentence based on opinion. If you were to say “I think your opinion is worthless” that would be a statement because you are stating what opinion you have and is not an opinion of what opinion you have. Get it?
                Adam you like Quade and hate Deans, I dont but you wont catch me throwing a little sulk because you dont agree with me. I will just point out where you are wrong or where I think you are wrong, which I must say is all the time, over and over, a continuous flow like when I ate those bad prawns.

            • June 14th 2013 @ 8:57pm
              Malo said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

              WRm you make sense. Deans has done ok considering. I think the selections are fine and the wallabies will win 3 nil

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2013 @ 6:21pm
      biltongbek said | June 14th 2013 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

      I don’t think the Wallabies need Smith to be honest.

      I know he is an experienced player, but it is a new era for the Wallabies, they have Hooper and Gill, and in my view both are going to be world class, Hooper a tad ahead, although I like gill a lot.

      • June 14th 2013 @ 6:36pm
        niwdeyaj said | June 14th 2013 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

        Now THAT’s an opinion – thanks biltongbek!

        It’s a bit of a moot argument given that he’s unavailable, but if he were fit for the first test, I’d have him in the 22 for sure – not starting – but on the bench, with a view to get him on in the last 20 when the pressure is on. I think he’d bring a calming influence and composure to the pack, and make the right decisions when things are tight.

        as it looks like he’ll now only be available for the 3rd test, we should have a better idea by then whether Hooper/Gill have what it takes. If they have solid games in the first and second tests, then I’d agree that G.Smith may not be needed, although I’d love to see him in gold, just one more time!

        • Roar Guru

          June 14th 2013 @ 6:39pm
          AdamS said | June 14th 2013 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

          I’d take a good long look at the referees before contemplating Smith.
          He is not the player he was, and if you look at the Brumbies matches, a lot of the guile he once had has been replaced by blatant foul play that obviously gets away with in Japan (and SXV).

          I’m not so sure they will be that lax in the Lions tests.

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2013 @ 8:02pm
            Rob na Champassak said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

            Just my opinion, Adam, but I reckon Smith had the wood over Gill and Hooper before he did his knee.

            The penalties have been exaggerated a little. If you look at the twenty players who have conceded the most penalties so far this season, Smith isn’t among them. Curiously enough, though, Hooper is!

            In fact, I was having a bit of a giggle a couple of weeks ago when certain people were suggesting a Higginbotham-Hooper-Mowen backrow. Between the three of them they’ve conceded 57 penalties this season!

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2013 @ 8:14pm
              biltongbek said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

              I disagree with you Rob.

              Hooper and Gill are both more dynamic ball carriers than Smith, especially Hooper, plus they have more pace than Smith, I don’t think Smith at his height of his powers had the pace Hooper has.

              Both of them pilfer well, and in my opinion they are both “modern day 7s” where as Smith is the old style seven which in my very , very, humble opinion is more limited in general play.

              I rate Pocock as the new Smith, also limited in his ball carrying ability.

              Then one thin Hooper has above all the others, he is a good link man, loves the offload and getting support runners into space.

              For me at this stage irrespective of experience, Hooper IS DA MAN.,

              • June 14th 2013 @ 11:55pm
                Crash Ball2 said | June 14th 2013 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

                I want my 12 to be a dynamic ball carrier. I want my 11 to have phenomenal pace. I want my 7 to be the immovable object at the centre of every 50/50 breakdown, the hard shoulder administered to the ribs of any zucchini quiche-loving, pastel coloured tutu-wearing flyhalf each time he considers flirting with the gain line, the fulcrum of any defensive ruck leveraging the collision point until the hotdog-eating front rowers finally catch a cab back to the 22 to lend their substantial weight, the grudgingly sideways glance taken by any ball-runner just before the decision to pass or take the hit, the confidence felt by talented but slightly awed rookies when the tide of an historic game turns. I want my openside flanker to be the craftiest, most single minded, ferociously competitive and intelligent player on the pitch. Hooper is indeed da man. Gill is without question the future. But neither is George Smith.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2013 @ 1:11am
                biltongbek said | June 15th 2013 @ 1:11am | ! Report

                Wow Crashball, beautifully put.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2013 @ 5:29pm
                Rob na Champassak said | June 15th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                I can’t disagree on any particular point, BB. Point for point, everything you have said is bang on the money.

                But perhaps I could put to you a hypothetical. I don’t know if you follow Aussie cricket much, but… Supposing you were a selector in the lead up to the 2010-2011 Ashes Series… At that stage, a certain Mike Hussey had been struggling for form, and people in the know were suggesting that he would be dropped and replaced with another younger batsman who’d been banging down the door with their domestic performances.

                We all know what happened. Hussey was retained and he justified the selectors’ faith with what could well have been a Man of the Series performance if Alastair Cook had not so completely trounced us.

                My question is this: would you have persisted with Mike Hussey as the selectors did?

                I don’t require you to answer, I only asked the question to illustrate the point. The selectors picked Hussey because they knew what he was capable of even at his advanced age. They knew that his record demonstrated that immeasurable quality of class and grit that can only be beaten into a man with a few trips through the grinder. It was an important series and they needed a player who had proven himself in some of the most scrutinising and high pressure environments that the cricket world has to offer. So they picked Hussey.

                The situation with Smith, Gill, and Hooper is different, I will grant you. No analogy is perfect. But the point that I’m trying to make is that it is not so much experience that you buy with Smith, but class. Talent is nothing without temperament, and temperament is something that Gill and Hooper have not yet really had the opportunity to demonstrate.

                Pocock on the other hand has grasped that opportunity with vigour. Multiple man-of-the-match performances in Bledisloe, Tri-Nations, Spring Tour matches, and dare I remind you of a certain World Cup quarter-final (still bitter? 😉 )? He has been into the real pressure-cookers and come out with his head held high. It may be trite, but the old adages retain their wisdom: you can’t buy class, and class is permanent.

                Back to my point. If I were to be faced with a decision between each of those four candidates before a Lions series, I would find it very difficult if not impossible to pick Gill and Hooper over Smith and Pocock. With no disrespect intended to Gill and Hooper, I think that this tour may have arrived a mite too early for them.

                But we will get to find out one way or another, won’t we? What an exciting era we are moving into!

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2013 @ 8:20pm
              AdamS said | June 14th 2013 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

              Yes, I pointed out the 10 point start a hooper/Mowen combination would give the unerring Lions kickers in another thread but got howled down as a red…

              I think the refs will be tougher on line defense and cheap shots like walking around the ruck and kicking the ball won’t be tolerated.
              But then he is a smart enough player that he wouldn’t do it when it mattered, but still, I would rate Smith for a card more than Hooper and certainly more than Gill.
              Hooper does make up for his penalties by running, something that may be needed with McCabe on the field.

              • Roar Guru

                June 15th 2013 @ 5:31pm
                Rob na Champassak said | June 15th 2013 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

                Adam, if reports are to be believed, McCabe will not be starting. So relax… Everything will be in Rob Horne’s capable hands.

        • June 14th 2013 @ 9:01pm
          WRM said | June 14th 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

          “I dont think the Wallabies need Smith” is a statement.
          But “He will not play unless there is an injury” is not a statement.
          Correct me if Im wrong but my sentence was one based on opinion (clearly) and therefore not a statement but Biltong stating what he thought is infact a statement as it is not an opinion of what he thinks but what he does think.

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2013 @ 9:08pm
            biltongbek said | June 14th 2013 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

            Thanks for that, mate. Now you have confused me, I am not sure what I think anymore. 🙂

            Was I thinking there, or just providing an opinion, or was the opinion based on a factual statement, which it couldn’t be because I didn’t provide any facts, but rather a subjective opinion, deduced from observation which could be seen as subjective bias.

            But then again it is only an opinion which can be argued with, even without any fact based reasoning, although facts might provide more clarity on the situation, which at this point is highly debatable.

            Or is it?

            • June 14th 2013 @ 9:32pm
              WRM said | June 14th 2013 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

              I think that you are right BB for what it is worth.
              Australia doesnt need Smith.
              My opinion is that the biggest loss so far is Higginbotham but MMM, Kimlin, Mowen and Dennis should do a job.
              Australia doesnt have the production line that SA has in terms of hard running loosies like Alberts, Burger etc.

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2013 @ 9:34pm
                biltongbek said | June 14th 2013 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

                Agree with the loss of Higgers, he has been in very good form.

    • June 14th 2013 @ 10:02pm
      Worlds biggest said | June 14th 2013 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

      Smith would have brought much needed toughness, a bit of mongrel and experience to the squad. He might still feature if there are further injuries.

    • June 14th 2013 @ 10:17pm
      Whatever said | June 14th 2013 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

      Think the only happy people that George Smith not playing would be in his Japanese rugby club. Any Aussie supporter would see the benefits he brings but any Suntory supporter would see the risk it makes to season ahead.

    • June 14th 2013 @ 11:20pm
      Chivas said | June 14th 2013 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

      Am I wrong but isn’t Mowen a tad spindly to have much physical impact?

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