Jake brags with own 'Os, Monty'
Cape Town - Brumbies coach Jake White says flank George Smith and wing Clyde Rathbone are to them what Os du Randt en Percy Montgomery were for the Springboks a few years ago.
The 32-year-old Smith recently returned to the Brumbies after leaving in 2010 to play club rugby in France and Japan, while Rathbone (31) was lured out of retirement by White after quitting the game in 2009 due to injuries and personal issues.
Both are expected to be named in the Brumbies' starting team for their Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday night.
And White, who similarly brought Du Randt and Montgomery back into the international fold when he became Springbok coach in 2004, is delighted to have two such experienced campaigners in his squad.
"It's not easy to get experience like that. It's not only about rugby. It's the transition of one successful era to the next," he told Die Burger's website
Du Randt had not played international rugby for five years when White picked him for the Springboks in 2004, while Montgomery's international career was thought to be over, with his previous Test coming in 2001. However, both went on to lift the World Cup trophy in 2007 with White as Bok coach.
"The small inputs from George take pressure off our captain Ben Mowen and the players. It's almost like bringing back Os and Percy. They help form a team culture," said White.
Rathbone is expected to bring calmness to the backline, while Smith will have an important role to play especially after David Pocock was ruled
out for nine months with a knee injury.
The Brumbies currently lead the Super Rugby standings
with 23 points from four games.
The clash at Newlands kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday.