George Smith calls time on playing career

George Smith calls time on playing career

Wallabies legend George Smith has announced his retirement from rugby following nearly two decades at the top of the sport.

"Finally the day has come where I officially announce my retirement from professional rugby," confirmed Smith in a statement on Monday evening.

"It's been an absolute privilege to play professionally for the past 20 years. Rugby has provided and given me so much. The dreams that I had of playing rugby professionally as a young bloke, I'm fortunate to say that I've lived them and experienced so much more during my time."

The 38-year-old has been playing with UK side Bristol this season but was released by the club after a short-term contract, a decision that left his future open-ended.

"Special mention to Eddie Jones, who has been a constant supporter and mentor of mine throughout this time," he wrote.

"The day I rocked up to sign my first Brumbies contract with dreadlocked hair, board shorts and thongs. I think back and shake my head as to why he didn't just turn me away tight there and then.

"I'm grateful for his advice and friendship."

Smith also tallied 111 caps for the Wallabies in a glittering career and was the first John Eales Medallist back in 2002 and won the medal again in 2008.

He spent time in the England camp in 2016, helping as a breakdown consultant, and was also involved in the Wallabies fold in the 2017 June Series.

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