Smith in fight to be fit for Reds farewell

By AAP,

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    Wallabies great George Smith may have already played his final match in Australia as a knee injury threatens to rule him out of a planned Super Rugby farewell on Friday night.

    Smith twisted his knee in an attempted pick-and-drive against the Blues in Auckland two weeks ago and was a late withdrawal from Queensland’s win over the Melbourne Rebels.

    The 37-year-old said he wouldn’t know until later in the week if he would be right for the Reds’ clash against the Sunwolves at Suncorp Stadium.

    Not that he’ll be bothered either way.

    Smith has never been one for goodbyes and with a short-term stint at English Premiership Rugby outfit Bristol Bears just around the corner, he may have to do what’s best for his future.

    “I’m not really that emotional when it comes to farewells or stuff like that,” Smith told reporters on Monday.

    “It’s a game I want to be a part of but I’ve really got to listen to my body and see how it’s treating me, because it’s treated me well throughout these years.

    “Will it be sad? No, it’s one game for me… I’ve got a lot of good memories anyway.”

    Smith will leave Ballymore in a comfortably better state than when he found it after linking up with the Reds before the start of the 2017 season.

    Wins have been hard to come by but there is genuine reason for hope with the emergence of a new generation under coach Brad Thorn.

    A win over the Sunwolves to make it six victories in 2018 would make this the most successful season for the Reds since their last finals appearance in 2013.

    Smith said he never thought about extending his initial two-year contract because of the plethora of talented back-rowers coming through under the watchful eye of Thorn.

    Liam Wright, who will likely succeed Smith as Queensland’s first-choice openside flnaker, is the one who has impressed him the most.

    “He just looks like a natural footballer,” Smith said.

    “He reads situations well and moves around the park quite fluidly.

    “Liam Wright’s a fantastic talent and Queensland rugby should do all to keep him here.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • July 10th 2018 @ 7:33am
      Adsa said | July 10th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      I thought Liam Wright played well against the Rebels and would like to see him get another run against the Sunwolves. Thanks for the service George but have a break this weekend and get the knee right for Bristol. Would Smith have played for 18 years as a Pro? I’m sure he was running around for the Ponies in 2000.

      • July 10th 2018 @ 4:06pm
        DNZ said | July 10th 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

        He got his first Wallabies cap in 2000. It’s been one hell of a career.

    • July 10th 2018 @ 8:07am
      riddler said | July 10th 2018 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      absolute legend of the game..

      that many years at this level in that position..

      unlikely to be repeated..

      • Roar Guru

        July 10th 2018 @ 8:51am
        Train Without A Station said | July 10th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        Interestingly Wilson and McCaw played until they were 35. Hodgson 37. Hooper near unbreakable.

        Few bigger players have the same durability.

        • July 11th 2018 @ 4:35am
          Riddler said | July 11th 2018 @ 4:35am | ! Report

          Forgot about stinky.. he could have played another year except for the knee..

    • July 10th 2018 @ 1:28pm
      Worlds Biggest said | July 10th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

      My all time favourite Wallaby, an absolute legend. To still be playing Super Rugby at 37 is just epic, what a freak. If he does play on the weekend I look forward to seeing him on Oz soil one last time. If this is it then congrats to a legend of Australian and World Rugby.

      • July 11th 2018 @ 4:39am
        Riddler said | July 11th 2018 @ 4:39am | ! Report

        Agree world..he is a true legend of world rugby..

        Fingers crossed he makes the last game.. lucky qld fans who get to see it..

        I will sneak up next season to watch a Bristol game..

    • Roar Guru

      July 10th 2018 @ 6:28pm
      Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | July 10th 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

      Its a shame that news of George’s final exit had to be clouded with this contestable gem of drum beating:
      “Smith will leave Ballymore in a comfortably better state than when he found it after linking up with the Reds before the start of the 2017 season.”

      Well done George Smith. You are an icon of the game, and Australian fans will always be grateful.
      Brumbies, Wallabies, OS, Reds. Over how many games at the elite level?
      Who does that?

      • July 11th 2018 @ 10:04am
        Sheikh said | July 11th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        Wiki reckons getting on for 400:
        142 for the Brumbies (2000-2010, 2013)
        111 for the Wallabies (2000-2009, 2013)
        30 for Toulon (2010-11)
        46 for Suntory (2011-14, 2016-17)
        8 for Stade Francais (2012)
        21 for Lyon (2014-15)
        26 for Bath (2015-16)
        15 for Queensland

        • July 12th 2018 @ 3:13pm
          Boomeranga said | July 12th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          So, bit of a journeyman then 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2018 @ 3:27pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2018 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

          Played at more clubs than Slim Dusty…

    • July 10th 2018 @ 10:27pm
      adam smith said | July 10th 2018 @ 10:27pm | ! Report

      Dead set Rugby legend. In my view George was the whetstone that McCaw used to sharpen his skills, and emulated to be come the player he was. George was so damn frustrating as an All Black supporter, but just because he was so damn good. Congrats on an awesome career!

    • July 12th 2018 @ 11:29am
      Fionn said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      Goodbye, George. My favourite Wallaby and the person who singlehandedly kept the Wallabies afloat during some dark periods from 03-09. Thank you. You will be missed.

      As a Brumbies fan there is no one I respect more as a player.

      • July 14th 2018 @ 7:38pm
        riddler said | July 14th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

        agree with all that fionn..

        my fav player post 2002 hands down..

        if we had of 4 or 5 players with his character and application then the 2000’s could have been very different..

        would have loved to figure out a way for both him and poey to be in the starting xv but we probably would have had the clever richards using a name like the smock or something..

        • July 14th 2018 @ 7:43pm
          Fionn said | July 14th 2018 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

          Absolutely.

          I just wished he had come back to the Brumbies and not the Reds 😛 !

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