Jake to look for Japan favour
Canberra - Brumbies coach Jake White
is waiting for the right time to open discussions with George Smith's Japanese club about extending his short-term contract at the Canberra-based franchise.
Smith arrived at the Brumbies last month on a three-month deal and is due to return to Suntory Sungoliath for pre-season training in June. But a season-ending knee injury to David Pocock has left a hole at No 7 for the Brumbies, launching speculation Smith's stay could be extended.
White, who just returned after two weeks in South Africa, said he would hope to extend Smith's contract if the Brumbies qualify for the Super Rugby knockout phases.
''I haven't (talked to Suntory) yet because, obviously, I've just got back but I'll speak to whoever I have to and see what happens,'' White told the Rugby Heaven website
. ''But I didn't want to rush it and I didn't think it would be fair to literally after two-three weeks start phoning and say, 'How long can I have him for?'
''We'll play it from week to week, see where we end up, see how the season's panning out and I'm sure there's no reason why, if we're in the playoffs, they would stand in his way.''
The Brumbies claimed an impressive 29-10 win
over the Sharks on their South African tour, but suffered their first loss last week, going down 35-22
to the Stormers.
Smith, however, was their standout player at Newlands and his presence later on in the season will be vital.
The log leaders are currently preparing to face the Bulls in Canberra on Saturday. Kick-off is at 10:40 (SA time).