Smith looking over shoulder as Lomax rises

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Toby Smith is making his return to the Wallabies fold and says he wouldn't be surprised to be joined by young teammate Tyrel Lomax sooner rather than later.

Lomax is likely to be a part of the Wallabies’ opening June Test week in Melbourne, despite not being part of the main 34-man squad.

Smith said the 20-year-old, who has also reportedly been sniffed out by the All Blacks, would not be far away from cracking the Test arena.

“He’s a great talent and he’s been playing really well for us,” he said.

“It’s disappointing for him to not be named in that main squad, though I think he’s going to be involved in training in the weeks which is exciting for him. Obviously he’s been playing well for us, so it’s good.”

Smith's inclusion comes after a stuttering season, where he missed 12 weeks of rugby, before returning for the Rebels’ South Africa tour.

Tyrel Lomax has impressed national and Super Rugby coaches alike. Photo: Getty ImagesIt wasn’t an easy start for Smith, especially as the Rebels battled through a very lean start to the year.

“It’s tough, for sure, not being able to contribute on the field,” he said.

“You’ve got to do what you can to help the team prepare in terms of analysis and things like that, and contribute where you can but it’s definitely frustrating.”

Rebels coach Tony McGahan said Smith’s form since coming back from surgery was testament to his work ethic.

“I don't think you can overestimate the loading positions like the prop goes through across many facets of the game,” he said.

“Unfortunately we had to put him pretty much straight back in because of the depth and what we had to do.

“He's performed exceptionally well in our forward pack to get himself back on the Wallaby radar (and that) is a pretty good reflection of Toby.

“He's really quiet guy, just goes about his business but he's got a huge appetite to get better, a huge appetite for the team aspect of playing and he's a popular member of the squad.”

The Rebels take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.

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