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Australia 11:05 New Zealand

George Smith looking forward to ending international career in front of home fans

Last Updated: 06/07/13 10:23am

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George Smith: Poised to win his 111th cap for Australia

George Smith: Poised to win his 111th cap for Australia

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George Smith insists his appearance for Australia against the British and Irish Lions in Sydney will be a one-off cameo despite coach Robbie Deans hoping to convince him to stay for the forthcoming Rugby Championship.

Smith, who has won 110 caps for his country, has been selected ahead of Michael Hooper in Australia's only change to their starting XV for the series decider on Saturday.

The 32-year-old last played for Australia against Wales in 2009 and he views the showdown as a suitable stage on which to end his international career.

"I'm pretty sure this will be the last game I play for Australia. No, it will be!" he said.

"I've had a fantastic international career and know when to bow out. The legacy I've left behind on the international stage I'm very proud of. This just caps it off.

"I retired in 2009 in Wales and played away from home with not too many friends and family there watching.

"This gives me the opportunity to play in front of them and to play in front of an Australian crowd on home soil.

"It will be fitting for my career to look back on and say 'I've finished on a great occasion, a big moment'.

"In terms of rugby it's the ultimate for me. To be selected in the starting XV for this decider, there's nothing higher for me."

With openside David Pocock sidelined for the rest of the season by a serious knee injury, Deans wants him to stay on.

"I've encouraged George never to retire! I did put the question of his future to him in training today. His response was not dissimilar, but I didn't take any heed of it. I dismissed it," he said.

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