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Smith in exile for Lions Test series

George Smith of the Brumbies has not been contacted by the ARU in regards to playing against the British and Irish Lions.

George Smith of the Brumbies has not been contacted by the ARU in regards to playing against the British and Irish Lions. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies great George Smith's chances of playing against the British and Irish Lions remain unclear because the ARU is yet to contact the flanker to gauge his interest.

And with the Wallabies to have a camp in Sydney next week without the 32-year-old, it's a sign coach Robbie Deans is ready to put his faith in rising openside flankers Michael Hooper and Liam Gill.

Seven weeks after making a surprise return to Australian rugby, Smith has had no contact with Deans, despite growing calls for him to be a part of the Lions series.

The Wallabies have a two-day camp in Sydney on Sunday and Monday with a squad of 30 in preparation for the June-July Tests.

With Australia's best No.7, David Pocock, out for the rest of the season, Smith could be a perfect replacement in the Wallabies' set-up. But Smith says his focus is on his stint with the Brumbies and any potential Test recall will not distract him from his Super Rugby goals.

He is still planning to finish his short-term Australian comeback on May 31 - with two regular-season Super Rugby games remaining - and return to Japan.

Any extended stay to play for the Wallabies or finish the campaign with the Brumbies is dependent on his Japanese club Suntory.

''The Lions series talk isn't a distraction for me because I know where I stand with that,'' Smith said.

''There hasn't been any direct or indirect conversations with the ARU, so for me it's very easy - I'm here with the Brumbies and contracted to the Suntory Sungoliaths.

''For me it's not a problem, but there's obviously talk outside of that because I have had experience playing against the Lions in the past, so it's natural there would be discussion there.

''As it stands, I'm contracted with the Brumbies until [May 31] and after that I've got a break planned with my family.

''Would I like to continue with the Brumbies? Of course I would because I feel like training alongside this team would prepare me well for the Suntory season.

''First and foremost my goal is to be in the best condition I can for Suntory and, with respect to Suntory, I can't look beyond that because they've allowed me to be in this position now.''

Smith has been one of the Brumbies' most consistent performers since making his return. His workload has been greater than expected following Pocock rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and having a knee reconstruction last month.

Pocock's absence rocketed Smith into Wallabies talks, especially given Hooper and Gill's international experience is limited. But so far Deans has resisted the temptation.

Smith has relished reclaiming the Brumbies' position he made his own in a decade of dominance for the club. He has spent the past two years playing in France and Japan and will play against the Otago Highlanders on Friday night for the first time since his Canberra Stadium farewell in May 2010.

A month of tough matches against South African opponents left the Brumbies battered but Smith said he felt comfortable being back in Super Rugby.

''I was pretty excited to get this opportunity, so I feel comfortable, but not too comfortable and I know I need to do a lot of work on the field,'' Smith said.

''I'm very pleased to be a part of this group … it energises me as a player and I haven't been in this position where I'm the oldest player in a squad.

''I feel I've matured as a player … every game comes with its challenges and in Japan you tackle guys who are 110 kilograms at max, but here you're taking on guys [who are] 120 kilograms.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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