Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Smith still dreams of facing Lions

01st May 2013 18:14


George Smith Brumbies training 2013

Smith: Faced the Lions in 2001

Brumbies flanker George Smith has reiterated his desire to play for the Wallabies in their upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions.

The 32-year-old, who played against the Lions when they last toured Australia in 2001, revealed that there had been no major developments after he had expressed his interest to play in the upcoming Test series to Wallabies boss Robbie Deans in a chat after the Brumbies' 19-19 draw with the Reds on April 20.

"My (Japanese) club, Suntory, has been fantastic to give clearance with the Brumbies (for the rest of the season)," Smith told AAP.

"Clearance for the Wallabies hasn't been given yet, but to play in the Lions series is a huge occasion.

"(Suntory) do understand I have a desire to play at a higher level and obviously they may take that into consideration."

Smith - along with the Waratahs' Michael Hooper and Reds' Liam Gill - is amongst the leading contenders for the Wallabies' openside flanker position to face the Lions in June and July.

The 110-Test veteran is set to break former Wallabies scrum-half George Gregan's record for the most Brumbies Super Rugby appearances when they host the Crusaders in Canberra on Sunday.

He said he did not think he could overtake Gregan's record when he returned to the Brumbies on a short-term deal because he was resigned to be on the bench behind David Pocock, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Round two.

"To have that massive blow for the Brumbies was unfortunate, but to get as many minutes as I have and to play reasonable football . . . I'm really enjoying the time I'm here," Smith added.

"To pass George Gregan, who has been a close friend and also a mentor of mine, I'm very pleased to reach this milestone."