Veteran Test forward George Smith has announced his retirement from international rugby.
The Australian reports that Smith, 29, played 110 Tests for the Wallabies. He is one of only four men to have played more than 100 times for his country after making his debut against France in 2000.
The skilful flanker is contracted to the ARU until the end of next year but will seek a release from that deal to pursue a contract overseas.
He will play with the Brumbies in the season’s Super 14 which starts next weekend.
Smith has been usurped as Australia’s premier openside flanker by the Western Force’s 21-year-old flyer David Pocock.
“The decision to retire from Test Rugby has been a very difficult one for me and one that I have made after much consideration and soul searching in recent months,” Smith said.
“Although I believe that I could play competitive rugby at the highest level and contribute to the Wallabies for many years to come I know in my heart that this is the right time to step aside.
“In recent times I believe that the Wallabies have created the right balance between providing opportunity for the outstanding young talent that is within Australian rugby and also having the knowledge and experience in senior players to bring out their very best.
“Under Robbie Deans the Wallabies player group has committed itself and worked incredibly hard and I believe that the fruits of this hard work will be seen in the months and years ahead, most importantly at the 2011 World Cup.”