Jake: Smith 'greatest ever'

    2013-07-30 10:00
    Sydney - Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White says champion Brumbies player George Smith is ''one of the greatest ever'' as the veteran prepares for his third Super Rugby final.

    According to the website, the Brumbies will fly to New Zealand on Thursday in preparation for their grand final against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

    Smith, 33, won championships with the Brumbies in 2001 and 2004.

    He was man of the match in the Brumbies' semi-final win last weekend and is aiming to become the first Brumby to claim three Super Rugby titles.

    ''I know George is such a humble guy and he doesn't like all the razzamatazz or the talk, but now that I've coached against him and coached him, I can tell you he's one of the greatest ever,'' White said.

    ''He's got to be right up there. But George, by his own admission, says it's not just about what he does.''

    The Brumbies had a recovery session at Canberra Grammar School on Tuesday morning after arriving back in the capital on Monday night.

    They will have two training sessions on Wednesday before flying to New Zealand.

    Smith is hoping for a fairytale end to his Super Rugby career.

    He made a shock comeback to Australian rugby earlier this year when the Brumbies signed him on a short-term deal to be David Pocock's back up in the No7 role.

    But Pocock ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in their first game together and Smith extended his return to the Brumbies.

    Smith also earned his 111th Test cap in the Wallabies series-deciding clash with the British and Irish Lions earlier this month.

    He has played 140 Super Rugby games for the Brumbies.

    But even if he wins a third grand final, he will immediately return to Japan to rejoin his club, Suntory, for its season.

    White will name his team on Friday.

    The Brumbies have played the defending champion Chiefs just once in the past two seasons and lost that encounter 29-22 in Tauranga last year.

    White led South Africa to a World Cup triumph in 2007 and said that experience would help him as he prepares for his first Super Rugby final.

    ''What I really want to do now is just win this championship,'' White said.

    ''We don't do anything differently [to what a team does to win the World Cup]. Where I can help these Brumbies players is that I've been there.

    ''I said to the boys, 'just enjoy this and I can help you through this'. The guys must not have distractions ... Laurie Fisher has won it, Bernie [Stephen Larkham] has won it and George [Smith] has won it.

    ''The thing that is going to make us win on Saturday is doing the things right and not worrying about everything else. The lesson I've learnt from playing in high profile games is doing your job first.''

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