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 George Smith Retires from Test Rugby

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 3:10 am

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/3297850/Wallaby-George-Smith-retires-from-test-rugby

Wallabies flanker George Smith – one of only four Australians to have reached the milestone of 100 tests – has announced his retirement from international rugby and will be released from his ARU and Brumbies contract at the end of the Super 14 season.

He plans to take up a contract with an offshore club.

The 110-test veteran recently approached ARU and Brumbies officials to discuss his future and felt after 10 seasons in the Australian jumper he wanted to explore other options.

Talks led to the 29-year-old, who made his test debut with a man of the match performance against France in Paris in 2000, requesting an early release from a contract that was to expire after the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"George has made an enormous contribution to Australian Rugby for more than a decade," ARU boss John O'Neill said today.

"His list of achievements in the game, both with the Brumbies in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies at the highest levels of the game, stands him alongside the all time greats.

"Obviously we wanted George to stay and continue through to his third Rugby World Cup.

"We had lengthy discussions. However, when he made it clear that his passion for international rugby was not the driving force it once was, we agreed there were suitable grounds for an early release given his long and continuous service to the game in this country.

"We could have insisted he see out his contract and blocked any opportunities to play the game overseas before the next Rugby World Cup. His wholehearted commitment over 10 years, however, deserves special consideration.

"We wish George all the best for the future as he enters his final season of Super Rugby with the Brumbies."

Smith said it was a difficult decision to leave Australian Rugby at the end of May having started with the Brumbies in 1999 and the Wallabies a season later.

"I have been involved with the Wallabies and rugby at the highest level internationally for over 10 years," he said.

"Throughout these 10 years I have always held a deep respect and honour for the Wallabies jersey and for what it means to be a Wallaby. I have considered it a privilege to wear the gold jersey in representation of my family, my friends, my fellow players, past Wallabies and of course my country.

"Being a part of the Australian Rugby family has also allowed me to form and develop lifelong friendships. From coaching staff and mentors who have helped nurture my ability as a player to my fellow players who have not only treated me as an equal from my debut in France 2000, but also helped me to become a better Rugby player and I believe, a better person"
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"The decision to retire from test Rugby has been a very difficult one for me and one that I have made after much consideration and soul searching in recent months.

"Although I believe that I could play competitive rugby at the highest level and contribute to the Wallabies for many years to come I know in my heart that this is the right time to step aside.

"In recent times I believe that the Wallabies have created the right balance between providing opportunity for the outstanding young talent that is within Australian rugby and also having the knowledge and experience in senior players to bring out their very best.

"Under Robbie Deans the Wallabies player group has committed itself and worked incredibly hard and I believe that the fruits of this hard work will be seen in the months and years ahead, most importantly at the 2011 World Cup.

"With Robbie, Rocky and the current player group I believe that the Wallabies brand and culture is in the best of hands.

"It is largely a decision about the most important people in my life: my family. As many of you would be aware I have a young family with three children under five and I feel that my wife Louise and my family have made a great many sacrifices to allow me to pursue my rugby career over the years.

"I believe that now is the time for me to give back to my family, to be able to spend more quality time with my wife and young children. It has become increasingly difficult for me to spend large periods of time away from home and my family and this is something that I would like to change.

"I would also like the opportunity to experience a different environment and culture together as a family unit whilst still playing competitive rugby. I personally feel that I owe this opportunity to my family.

"In light of these considerations it is my intention to explore the opportunities to play for an international club at the conclusion of the 2010 Super 14 season. The decision as to where I will continue my rugby career will be made with regards to the best interests of my family and I have no definite plans in this regard at this time."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said Smith possessed exceptional qualities – as a rare backrow talent with an almost indestructible physique and leadership abilities which carried him to the heights of captaining his country.

"You only have to look at the statistics of his career to realise what a special player George is, and to appreciate the enormity of his contribution to Australian rugby," he said.

"Not only has he been a great team man, he has been a fine leader of young men as a role model – both as a player and as a captain. Consistency, both in terms of his availability and the level of his performance, has been his hallmark."

Brumbies coach Andy Friend said Smith's record speaks for itself: "More than 100 tests, 120 games of Super Rugby for the Brumbies, eight Brett Robinson players' player awards (at the Brumbies) and four Super 14 player of the year awards demonstrate what a tremendous footballer George Smith is.

"The Brumbies have been extremely fortunate to have someone who's not only an immensely talented footballer but a fantastic bloke in their squad for the last 10 years and his performances will long live in the memory of anyone that's witnessed him play."

Brumbies CEO Andrew Fagan added: "George is arguably the greatest Brumby and Wallaby to have played the game and there is little that he hasn't achieved during his career.

"He's always been very honest and a man of great character and we did not want to stand in his way. I think I speak for all Brumbies fans in hoping the side plays a role in this year's Super 14 finals to give a great of the game a fitting send off."

GEORGE SMITH FACT FILE

Born: 14 July 1980

Height: 180cm

Weight: 104kg

Position: Flanker

Super 14 caps: 120

Super 14 debut: v Sharks (2000)

Super 14 points: 75 (15 tries)

Test caps: 110

Test debut: v France (2000)

Test points: 45 (9 tries)
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mania
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 4:25 am

Yay!!!!! I mean bad for George but awesome for the ABs
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 4:40 am

Agreed - although if Robbie's "brilliant" plan continues he wouldn't be getting much game time anyway - Pocock being the preferred openside and all...
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 5:45 am

Huge loss for Australian rugby, great player. He's always good too watch.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 8:32 am

Anyone else smell the rot of discontent emanating from Camp Wallaby?

I know Smithy is publicly supporting Deans and co, but I dont buy it personally. The timing is just too convenient coming after a season where Deans cleaned house within the leadership group and Smithy himself being dropped.

The odds on Mortlock not seeing out this season would be shortening by the hour I reckon.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 8:39 am

if he retired because he doesn't get along with Deans that sucks.
there was obviously something going on... why else would a world-class player retire the year before a WC and at just 29.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 9:54 am

philly wrote:
if he retired because he doesn't get along with Deans that sucks.
there was obviously something going on... why else would a world-class player retire the year before a WC and at just 29.

Yep exactly my thoughts too.

Plenty of people think he should still be starting anyway, but even IF Deans stuck with Pocock, Smithys versatiliy made him the perfect bench man. He was an outstanding 7 but almost as good an 8 & 6 as well.

With 100+ tests of experience behind him, he would've had to self-amputate a leg to not make their WC squad. And he would know this too.

Something fishy going on I reckon....
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 9:57 am

maybe he knew what Deans was planning on doing (having him on the bench) he decided to stuff up Deans's plans by quitting so now Deans has to play a young guy from the bench.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 12:39 pm

Big loss to the Wallabies that, great player.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 2:26 pm

shattered to see him finish up! such a great player over the last decade or so, he's just so fierce in tackles, and finds many ways to come out with the ball!

pocock will never be as good!
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 9:50 pm

Pocock is awesome, expecting his to just get better, at the moment though he ain't no George Smith. Huge blow for the Aussies, losing a player of Smiths quality and experience when he's still playing awesome rugby is ridiculous. Obviously he hates Deans just as much as I do Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 11:49 pm

Hendo Maroon wrote:
Pocock is awesome, expecting his to just get better, at the moment though he ain't no George Smith. Huge blow for the Aussies, losing a player of Smiths quality and experience when he's still playing awesome rugby is ridiculous. Obviously he hates Deans just as much as I do George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_biggrin

You reckon 18mths is enough to get Pocock to Smithys standard Hendo?
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeFri Feb 05, 2010 11:51 pm

No but in 18 months Smith would have lost it a bit and Pocock would probably be the better of the 2.

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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeTue Feb 09, 2010 9:06 pm

Hendo wrote:
No but in 18 months Smith would have lost it a bit and Pocock would probably be the better of the 2.

No way Hendo. Smith is class and class is permanent. Smith could make any side in the world...including the ABs and make a massive contirbution. despite the grief smiths caused the ABs I'll miss him. the games always better when someone like smith is pushing the opposition to raise their game

Pocock has potential, i was a fan of his when he surfaced as a youngster but he hasnt progressed much since he's been around (and all the steriods have done is bulk him up. juice makes u stupid). pocock is going to flounder with out smith around as a mentor and setting an example that only georgeSmith can set

I reckon theres issues in the deans camp in that the old skool is vs'ing the new skool. same thing deans and JohnMitchell did to the ABs. get rid of all their experienced players and only keep those that he thinks he can control. in this case its all the young guys.

good on ya deans (even if it is unintentional) sabotage the wallaby's for us
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeTue Feb 09, 2010 9:24 pm

It's why the kiwi coaches went there in the first place Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeTue Feb 09, 2010 10:33 pm

I think this new era will mean victory over the All Blacks for at least the next 5 years.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeTue Feb 09, 2010 11:34 pm

MegaDC wrote:
I think this new era will mean victory over the All Blacks for at least the next 5 years.

haha u funny. they lose george smith and now they'll domin8 for the next 5 years? maybe but i doubt it.

the last era that domin8'd Nz for 10 years (ie they held the bledisloe for 10 years) was spearheaded by some above average players called gregan, larkham and georgeSmith... that era's over

definately the brumbies should domin8 for the next few years, cept i imagine the bulls and the crusaders (and i hope the canes) will have a few issues with that
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeTue Feb 09, 2010 11:52 pm

You can't trust a man who lets people pull his hair. Aus can only get better without him plus with a decent halfback now in Genia i think we can go underfeated for the next 10 years against the All Blacks at least.
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 12:01 am

I don't really give a shit btw i'm resigned to the fact that Australia is the Washington Generals and N.Z. The Harlem Globetrotters so to speak the Wallabies are a bunch of losers except for maybe a half dozen in the side. Just the occasional win would be handy at this point .
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 1:09 am

megaDC wrote:
I don't really give a shit btw i'm resigned to the fact that Australia
is the Washington Generals and N.Z. The Harlem Globetrotters so to
speak the Wallabies are a bunch of losers except for maybe a half dozen
in the side. Just the occasional win would be handy at this point .

yeah its sad when u dont have faith in your national squad. kinda like how i feel about the blackCaps and the ABs during the mitchell/deans error (and i mean error not era)
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 9:35 pm

calling the wallabies a bunch of losers was a bit over the top but they piss me off sometimes with their lack of passion
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 11:44 pm

yeah i agree, I'm real disapointed in the wallaby's. used to be good beating them but now its like picking on a little girl

i blame deans
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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeThu Feb 11, 2010 12:16 am

Definitely Deans' fault, he just doesn't have what it takes to coach a national side.

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PostSubject: Re: George Smith Retires from Test Rugby   George Smith Retires from Test Rugby Icon_minitimeThu Feb 11, 2010 3:27 am

ah so refreshing to hear from anti deans supporters
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