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George Smith Set To Depart Wasps For Japan

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: George Smith of Wasps looks for a way past Sean Cronin of Leinster Rugby during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Wasps and Leinster Rugby at Ricoh Arena on January 23, 2016 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Dai Young, coach of Wasps, announced the departure of Australian flanker George Smith.

Smith had been instrumental in a revitalised Wasps outfit and has thoroughly improved the skills of his teammates, especially at the breakdown while their ball handling has improved as well.

The 35-year-old openside flanker, who gave England helpful and much needed breakdown coaching during the RBS Six Nations, is approaching the end of his one-year contract at the Ricoh Arena for Wasps and has decided to complete the final chapter of his successful career in Japanese club rugby.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: George Smith of Wasps drives through to score a try during the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Wasps at Kingston Park on March 27, 2016 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Despite his age, Smith is up there for player of the season thanks to his all round game which has aided Dai Young hugely.

Player of the month for February, Smith has impacted his team on and off the pitch. His style of play has lead to Wasps having the highest average of offloads, turnovers and passes. All of these skills aren’t associated with this hemisphere and this just shows the importance of Smith.

George Smith’s strength has been his ability to adapt and then thrive in multiple leagues. Smith has played in Japan, Australia, France and England while continuing to stand out as a world class player.

He has had a career worthy of 111 international test caps showing his worth. However, the curtain is closing on his illustrious career as he moves onto Suntory Sungoliath where he played in the years 2011-2014.

Once he joins George Gregan’s former team he won’t be linking up up with Fourie Du Preez or Schalk Burger as the Springbok pair have moved onto retirement and Saracens respectively.

In his time left at the Ricoh Arena, George Smith still has the opportunity to inspire his youthful side to Premiership and Champions Cup glory especially if they can overcome the Exeter Chiefs in the next round.


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Author: The PA Team

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