British and Irish Lions 2013: Australia announce squad for final Test with George Smith recalled
The decisive Test takes place on Saturday
Thursday 04 July 2013
Flanker George Smith has been recalled to the Australia team to face the British and Irish Lions in the third and final Test in Sydney.
The 32-year-old, currently playing for the Brumbies on loan from Japanese side Suntory, stepped down from international duty at the start of 2010 but has been brought back to counter the physical power of the Lions back row on Saturday.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said: "He's class, isn't he?
"To have achieved what George has throughout his career, and return to play at the highest level, after such a long break, is a testament to the quality of the man, both as a person, and as a player."
Smith, who has 110 caps and has captained Australia six times, may well have been involved from the start of the series but for a knee injury.
In the only change to the starting line-up for the decider, he comes in at openside for his fourth appearance against the Lions in place of Michael Hooper, who drops to the bench, pushing Australia Under-20s captain Liam Gill out of the matchday 23.
"The decision to go with George in no way reflects any dissatisfaction with the way either Michael or Liam have played," Deans says.
"But it has been a tough series - the first two games have been rugged, especially at the breakdown, and we feel that the combination of experience and fresh legs that George brings is the right way to go for this week.
"His expertise in the contact zone, where timing, judgment and physicality is everything, is going to be critical. Being able to call on George allows us to lighten the load on Michael while retaining the ability to inject him into what is sure to be a fast-paced and highly physical contest."
Also on the bench at ANZ Stadium will be Western Force loose forward Ben McCalman, with Rob Horne stepping aside.
Deans added: "Both sets of fans have been fantastic, the atmosphere in ground amazing, but with 80,000 seats available this weekend; this is our chance to drown out the sea of red.
"I encourage all Australians - both those going to the game and those watching it around the country - to get into gold and get behind your Wallabies."
Australia team to face the British and Irish Lions in the third Test at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday, July 6:
K Beale (Melbourne Rebels); I Folau (NSW Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), C Leali'ifano (Brumbies), J Tomane (Brumbies); J O'Connor (Melbourne Rebels), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), K Douglas (NSW Waratahs), J Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), B Mowen (Brumbies), G Smith (Brumbies), W Palu (NSW Waratahs).
Replacements: S Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), B McCalman (Western Force), M Hooper (Brumbies), N Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), J Mogg (Brumbies).
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures