The Australian will join the Bristol Bears on a six-month deal, providing injury cover for Jake Heenan, Sam Graham and Dan Thomas, who are all struggling for fitness ahead of the new season.
Smith will be a welcome addition to the squad given his vast experience and reputation as one of the best break down specialists in world rugby.
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) June 20, 2018
Pat Lam paid tribute to the new signing on the Bristol Bears website, saying:
“George [Smith] remains one of the most physically impressive and intelligent flankers in the world. His qualities are obvious: tremendous leadership, excellent decision making, dedication to the team and unrivalled experience.
“His rugby understanding sets him apart and, even in the latter stages of his career, he’s still delivering fantastic performances at the highest level of Super Rugby. With Dan [Thomas] and Sam [Graham] sidelined with injury for the beginning of the season, Jake [Heenan] returning from long-term surgery and Jack [Lam] likely to be involved in the November internationals, George is an ideal addition to the squad to provide cover and experience for a physically demanding position.
“Wherever George has played in his career, he has consistently been the standout performer. The last time he played in the Premiership with Wasps, he scooped player of the season, supporters’ player of the season and Premiership players’ player. We know each other well and I’m confident he has all the characteristics to help our young players develop and contribute to our on-field success.”
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