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Super Rugby: Veteran George Smith bows out having "loved every moment"
George Smith epitomises what Brumbies rugby is all about.
Quotes of the week
Australian veteran George Smith bid a fond farewell to Super Rugby, for a second time on Saturday, not in the ideal manner but without regrets.
The flanker left the Waikato Stadium saying "I've had a great time" after the Brumbies faded in the closing quarter of the Super Rugby final as the Chiefs triumphed 27-22 to claim a second title in as many years.
The 33-year-old forward was a member of the Brumbies side which won the 2001 and 2004 Super Rugby crowns before he made moves to France and Japan, where he expected to end his career.
However, a season-ending injury to Ita Vaea left Brumbies boss Jake White in dire straits which meant Smith was soon back in Canberra and has enjoyed a sensational season which saw him recalled to the Wallabies squad for the third Test against the British and Irish Lions.
"It's been amazing. I've absolutely loved every moment playing with the Brumbies and the one-off chance to play with the Wallabies," the 111-cap veteran said.
"I've always regarded the Brumbies as family. I felt at home when I did arrive back and I'm very grateful for the Brumbies fans and the Brumbies organisation for welcoming me. I've had a great time."
Victory in the Super Rugby final would have been the perfect way to end Smith's career, which White believes characterises the ethos of the Brumbies.
"He's phenomenal. It wasn't the way we wanted to say goodbye to him, we wanted to give him the trophy," he said.
"He epitomises what Brumbies rugby is all about. He wants to be a Brumbie. He's played for the Brumbies.
"He came back and wanted to add value and we are obviously very grateful for the contributions he has made."
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|Saturday 19th July|
|Sharks 31 - 27 Highlanders|
|Brumbies 32 - 30 Chiefs|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Stormers 10 - 34 Sharks|
|Lions 60 - 25 Cheetahs|
|Reds 3 - 34 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 8 Highlanders|
|Friday 11th July|
|Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne Rebels|
|Brumbies 47 - 25 Western Force|
|Blues 8 - 11 Chiefs|
|Sunday 6th July|
|Waratahs 44 - 16 Highlanders|
|Saturday 5th July|
|Cheetahs 27 - 20 Sharks|
|Stormers 16 - 0 Bulls|
|Western Force 30 - 20 Reds|
|Crusaders 21 - 13 Blues|
|Friday 4th July|
|Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne Rebels|
|Chiefs 24 - 16 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 28th June|
|Western Force 14 - 40 Blues|
|Waratahs 39 - 8 Brumbies|
|Hurricanes 16 - 9 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th June|
|Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 Reds|
|Highlanders 29 - 25 Chiefs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com