Smith close to staying

RICHARD FERGUSON updates followers of the latest Super Rugby news from Australia.

Smith close to staying

Jake White took the first steps towards extending George Smith’s loan deal, meeting with the Suntory coaches while his team was in Dunedin.

White revealed that the coaches were receptive and seemed open to talks on Smith’s loan deal, which currently expires 31 May. This leaves the Brumbies without the legendary fetcher for two match, one either side of the International break, Rebels 7 June and Force 13 July.

The Suntory’s season starts 18 August, so having Smith continue with the Brumbies for those regular season matches is not out of the question. The problem is that the play-offs will only start 19 July and continue to 3 August. It is still too early in the season to say with certainty that the Brumbies will be playing in the playoffs, but it is a distinct possibility.

The question of Smith being available for Australian selection for the British and Irish Lions tour matches seems to be answered, with Smith not being included in the preliminary squads and the player himself denying that he will be playing in Australian colours again.

Rebels lose Kingi
Not only did the Rebels lose to the Kings this past weekend, but Ronnie Cooke seems to have broken their winger Richard Kingi as well.

Kingi attempted to tackle Cooke as he was scoring his try, and limped off the field. It has been confirmed that Kingi will be out of action for at least six weeks with this knee injury.