Smith among three Wallaby call-ups for Test
SYDNEY (AFP) – The injury-hit Wallabies called up veteran flanker George Smith among three reinforcements for the squad for next weekend's make-or-break Test with the British and Irish Lions.
Smith, his ACT Brumbies teammate Jesse Mogg, and Queensland Reds centre Ben Tapuai, have been added to the Wallabies group for the Melbourne match following their 23-21 loss in the opening Test in Brisbane on Saturday.
The call-ups follow a spate of Wallaby injuries in the first Test with doubts over inside centre Pat McCabe (neck), winger Digby Ioane (shoulder), centre Adam Ashley-Cooper (shoulder) and fullback Berrick Barnes (head knock).
All four players were sent for scans after the game with their selection prospects for the second Test to be determined in the early part of the week.
The status of inside centre Christian Leali'ifano, who took a head blow and was carried off in the opening minute of the Brisbane Test, will also be reviewed further once the Wallabies settle in Melbourne, team officials said.
Smith, the sole survivor of the Wallabies' 2001 Test series win over the Lions, suffered a medial ligament injury playing for the Brumbies last month.
But the injury was not as serious as first feared and he is now available to lend his 110-Test match experience to the desperate Wallabies.
Smith, 32, who returned to Australia this year on a short-term contract with the Brumbies from Japanese club rugby, last represented his country against Wales at Cardiff in 2009.
Smith is Australia's third most capped player behind his former Brumbies and Wallabies captain George Gregan, who appeared in 139 Tests.
Tapuai, 24, who last appeared for Australia on last year's European Tour, can play at inside and outside centre and has played seven Tests for the Wallabies, while Mogg is uncapped.
Mogg was impressive for the Brumbies in the Lions' only loss on tour 14-12 in Canberra last week.