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Smith refuses to rule out a return to the Wallabies

George Smith is not opposed to a Wallabies return.

George Smith is not opposed to a Wallabies return. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies great George Smith will consider a return to Test rugby if coach Robbie Deans asks the flanker to make a comeback for the British and Irish Lions tour.

But first Smith wants to ''test'' himself in Super Rugby and says he wants to ''earn my spot'' in the ACT Brumbies squad.

Smith is back in Australia and will train with the Brumbies for the first time on Friday after signing a 12-week contract with his old club. He's making a comeback after retiring from Australian rugby in 2010 and taking his career to France and Japan.

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and Australian captain George Gregan are adamant Smith can be a valuable part of the Test squad for the Lions tour in June.

And Smith hasn't ruled out a Wallabies return if he's called on. ''George Gregan has done it all and Eddie Jones is a mentor of mine, so their opinion, I do take it on board,'' Smith told Rugby HQ on Fox Sports. ''If I was considered for the Wallabies, I'd definitely think about it because it is such a huge occasion. But first and foremost I have to earn that spot and my spot within the Brumbies.''

The 32-year-old is widely regarded as the greatest Australian openside flanker. In Canberra he will team up with incumbent Wallabies No.7 David Pocock, but Smith has spent his time in Japan playing largely as a blindside flanker or No.8.

He looms as a star injection to the Brumbies' line-up for the clash with arch rivals the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium on March 9. That would set up a perfect opportunity for Deans to see Smith play alongside two of his flanker stars - Pocock and Waratahs recruit Michael Hooper.

Smith has played 110 Tests for the Wallabies and 122 games for the Brumbies. He has won every award on offer in Australian rugby and claimed two Super Rugby titles in Canberra. It makes his decision to join the Brumbies intriguing.

Brumbies coach Jake White signed him as a replacement in his squad for the injured Ita Vaea.

''It [the opportunity] was presented to me a little while ago, I had time to think about it and thought it would be a good way to test myself in the Super Rugby arena,'' Smith said. ''I'm pretty excited about the challenge. I've had two good seasons at Suntory Sungoliaths and I think this will definitely test me.

''It's definitely a step up [back in Australia]. I've had a bit of freedom with the way I've played the game in the Top League [in Japan].

''It will be a bit more physical than I'm used to, but I'm up for the challenge … I'd love to play [against the Waratahs], but first and foremost I've got to earn my spot in the Brumbies team.''

The Brumbies' back row has been in form to start the season.

Peter Kimlin, Pocock and Ben Mowen have been outstanding, while Fotu Auelua and Colby Faingaa have added important punch from the bench.

Given Smith's resume´ and record, it's likely White will be able to find a spot for him in the game-day 22.

It's a selection headache White will address over the weekend. He is likely to name his team late next week.

The Brumbies are chasing a hat-trick of wins to start the season and White hopes his team's form and Smith's arrival will attract more than 20,000 fans to the clash with the Waratahs.

If Smith does play, it will be a brutal homecoming for former Brumby Hooper. Hooper was touted as the man who could fill Smith's shoes in Canberra and had an outstanding season last year. But the 21-year-old decided to join the Waratahs and the Brumbies recruited Pocock.

Now Hooper could face a contest with his two idols and two of the best openside flankers in Australian rugby history.

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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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