For Queensland Reds recruit George Smith, there was never any doubt as to where he would resume his glittering Super Rugby career.
With a young family to raise, the 111-cap Wallaby and his family had their hearts set on the laid back Brisbane lifestyle after seven years of Smith playing rugby in the UK and Japan. “The decision was made a while back and it was very much a family based decision,” Smith said.
“My wife and children wanted the opportunity to live up here in Brisbane and it was hard to move away from the Northern Beaches in Manly but we made the decision a while back and I still feel I’m playing really competitive rugby at the moment.”
The 36-year-old was also enticed by the chance to join forces with fellow recruits and returning Reds, Stephen Moore and Quade Cooper.
“The squad that the staff have put together and the management have been fantastic,” he said.
“We’re not here to just play competitive football, we want to be up there with the best teams.
“It’s up to us players to be detailed in our analysis and in our work to be a better team and turn around the fortunes for the Reds.”
With his Wallabies days behind him, Smith also jumped at the opportunity to work with some of Queensland’s best young talent - including highly touted openside flanker prospect Michael Gunn.
“Having played the game for a number of years the experience does flow off into the younger group and I will try to mentor players as much as possible.
“In saying that, I don’t want to participate within teams, I want to be a dominant players in the teams that I’m a part of.”
He also dismissed any concerns regarding fitness after playing non-stop rugby for almost three years.
“I tend to go well backing up and playing - I’ve played a lot of games over the past few years but my body is just built for that and I enjoy that,” Smith said.
“The more I play, the better I feel, the more I can contribute to the team.”