Smith ready to tackle Lions

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 16:29
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George Smith is available for selection against the British and Irish Lions after reportedly being granted an extension to see out the season with the Brumbies.

The Courier Mail reports that Suntory have extended Smith’s loan until the end of the Super Rugby season in August following the loss of David Pocock.

The 32-year-old was initially set to return to the Japanese club on May 31 before being given the green light to remain in Australia following recent talks between Jake White and Suntory’s coaches.

The decision opens the door for the 110-Test veteran to make a dramatic comeback for the Wallabies for the three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions in June.

Smith last month said there had been "no direct or indirect conversations with the ARU'', with sources indicating that the Australian Rugby Union has been playing a waiting game to see whether Smith would be in the country before approaching him for a possible recall due to its policy of excluding overseas-based players from selection.

Smith will compete with Liam Gill (Reds) and Michael Hooper (Waratahs), both of whom are among coach Robbie Deans' preliminary 30-man squad, for the Wallaby No.7 jersey.