2/25/2013

George Smith sets for Brumbies Rugby return


George Smith will join the University of Canberra Brumbies on a short term contract, filling the final spot on the team's 35-man squad.

The veteran of 128 Brumbies games and 110 Tests has committed to the ACT based club, completing an already ferocious forward pack.

One of the greatest loose-forwards to play the game, Smith has been representing Suntory in the Japanese league over the last rugby season, claiming the club's fifth title on Sunday.

Smith left the University of Canberra Brumbies after 2010 for France where he played with Toulon before moving to Japan to link with Suntory. He enjoyed a similar short-term stint with iconic Parisian outfit, Stade Francais in 2012.

A former Wallabies and Brumbies Captain, Smith is one of seven players to reach 100 games for the Brumbies. He has claimed the Brett Robinson Players Player for the club on eight different occasions, making his the most decorated player the Brumbies have ever kept on their books.

With Smith now free for the Japanese off-season, Head Coach Jake White said a player of his ability and experience was a huge bonus for his team moving forward.

“It’s exciting news for the club that we have been able to bring George back to Canberra. He’s achieved a great deal in the game and was an important part of the team for many years, so naturally everyone at the Brumbies will be pleased to have him back,” White said.

“George’s record and ability to win games is outstanding. The guy has won Super Rugby Championships, he’s won big games for the Wallabies and he’s played in a Rugby World Cup final so I want him to bring that winning culture back here to the Brumbies.

“This year we’ve been trying to bring back some of the old attitudes and ways of thinking that made the Brumbies such a success in the early days. Clyde has been a big factor in that and I’m sure George will add similar value to what is still a young squad.

“Even though it feels like George has been playing rugby for a life-time, he’s still a relatively young guy. He’s been one of the best players on that Suntory side this year and they just won the title this Sunday gone, so there’s no doubt he will be looking to make a big impact when he joins the Brumbies.

"George coming to Canberra is another example of proper working relationships between global rugby clubs. I'd like to thank Suntory for their co-operation in getting George to Canberra and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

George Smith will start training with the University of Canberra Brumbies next week with the ability to be selected for the home game against the NSW Waratahs in two weeks time.

George Smith
POS: Open-side flanker
H/W: 1.8m, 104kg
DOB: 14/7/1980, Sydney
Juniors: Warringah Roos, NSW
School: Cromer High School
Colts: Manly
Brumbies Player No.: 52
Super Rugby Caps: 128
Super Rugby debut: 2000 v Sharks, Canberra
Test Caps: 110
Test debut, 2001 v France, Paris