George Smith saving himself for Super 14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

George Smith saving himself for Super 14

By Adrian Warren 20/01/2010 06:48:18 PM Comments (0)

George Smith is prepared to miss all the Brumbies trial matches before he opens his bid this year to regain his Wallaby jersey from David Pocock.

Smith lost the starting No.7 jersey to Pocock for two of the five Tests on the northern spring tour.

With old rival Phil Waugh also keen to regain a Test spot, Smith is facing intense competition in 2010.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend has apparently suggested Smith will see little or possibly no playing time during the Brumbies trial matches against the Hurricanes in Wellington and the Waratahs in Canberra.

The Brumbies commence their Super 14 campaign on February 12 against the Force in Perth.

"I will speak to Friendy, I'd like to rest (for) the trial matches and be ready to go against the Force," Smith told reporters.

"I will talk to him and see what the best thing is for me in terms of my game fitness and where it needs to be."

Smith was one of four high profile Wallabies who only returned to training with the Brumbies this week.

The others were prize recruits, current Wallabies captain and flanker Rocky Elsom, playmaker Matt Giteau and incumbent Wallaby fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper.

Smith acknowledged his fitness wasn't near that of the Brumbies who had returned to training earlier.

"Come the first game, I think definitely I will be where I need to be," Smith said.

The other three Australian teams all start their trials campaign this weekend.

Queensland and NSW, minus their Wallaby stars, meet in Lismore on Saturday night.

The Force start their pre-season fixtures on Saturday in Cape Town, where they will play the Stormers.

The Perth-based franchise play another South African side, the Sharks on Tuesday, as part of the Tri-Series tournament.

The Force will face a Stormers side featuring their two major recruits, Springbok backs Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie.

Also listed to play in the Stormers team is five-eighth Peter Grant, who was linked to the Force after they lost Matt Giteau to the Brumbies.

The Force opted instead for another South African five-eighth Andre Pretorius, who could make his debut for the Perth-based side this Saturday.

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