29 Oct 2009

Wallabies coach hails demoted Smith as ultimate team man

7:46 am on 29 October 2009

The Wallabies rugby coach Robbie Deans has hailed Australia's most capped forward George Smith as the ultimate team man for the way he's accepted his relegation to the bench for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks in Tokyo.

Deans and his fellow selectors Jim Williams and David Nucifora believe the younger powerhouse David Pocock offers the Wallabies more in the physical opening stages.

Three backs have also been demoted from the last starting lineup - fullback James O'Connor and wingers Lachie Turner and Drew Mitchell. Adam Ashley Cooper goes back to fullback, and the starting wingers are Digby Ioane and Peter Hynes, both returning from injury.

Matt Giteau and Berrick Barnes have been retained as the inside back combination.