George Smith '50/50' for Super 14 return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

George Smith '50/50' for Super 14 return

By Karlis Salna 29/04/2010 04:19:20 PM Comments (0)

Former Wallabies flanker George Smith has almost certainly played his last Super 14 match for the Brumbies.

Smith, the most capped Wallabies forward in history, announced his retirement from international rugby earlier this season, and now it appears injury will force his exit from Super rugby.

The 29-year-old has not played since round six against the Blues in March when he sustained nerve damage in his left shoulder.

While he has been desperate to get back on the field, and has been putting in a lot of work in the gym and keeping his fitness up, coaching and medical staff remain doubtful about his prospects.

He was again wearing a red bib at training on Thursday, signalling it was a no contact session for the eight-time recipient of the Brumbies players' player award.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend would love to see Smith make it back but concedes he may have played his last game for the ACT-based side.

"It is a possibility," Friend said on Thursday.

"I'm not really a betting man. Let's make it a 50/50," he said of Smith's chances of making it back on the field in 2010.

At the very least, Smith is likely to have played his last match for the Brumbies in Canberra.

The Brumbies take on the Reds on Saturday followed by their last home game for the year against the Highlanders next week.

But Friend is not completely giving up on Smith just yet.

"Right from the outset when that injury occurred we knew it was going to be difficult for him but we've kept hoping and I know he's been working hard," Friend said.

"If we can get him out there we will."

Smith has played 110 Tests and is second only to George Gregan (139) as the most capped Wallaby.

He was released from his contracts with the Australian Rugby Union and the Brumbies earlier this year and is likely to pursue a career overseas, possibly in Japan.

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