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Brumbies centre Smith among Munster's options for midfield role

The 29-year-old is understood to have spoken to the province over a transfer later this year.

Smith [carrying the ball] in Brumbies' colours in 2012.
Smith [carrying the ball] in Brumbies' colours in 2012.
Image: Esmie Lamprecht

BRUMBIES CENTRE ANDREW Smith is among the options Munster are considering to fill the gap that will be left in their midfield by the departure of Casey Laulala to Racing Métro this summer.

TheScore.ie understands that the 29-year-old has spoken to the province about a transfer, although a deal has not yet been agreed. Smith is out of contract with his Australian Super Rugby franchise at the end of the 2014 season.

As with any vacancy, Munster are considering other potential recruits at outside centre and are expected to make an announcement in the coming month.

Sources close to the Brumbies – where former Munster forwards coach Laurie Fisher is now director of rugby - expect Smith to leave at the conclusion of his current deal, with the Irish province believed to be his most likely destination.

Predominantly a 13, but with Super Rugby experience on the wing, Smith has struggled for starts in the last two seasons due to the level of competition in the Brumbies’ backline and a run of unfortunate injuries in 2013.

South Africa Super Rugby Smith scores against the Lions in the 2012 Super Rugby campaign. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Wallaby trio Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano and Pat McCabe have been preferred in midfield during this campaign, while Joe Tomane, Henry Speight and Clyde Rathbone provide alternatives wider out.

At close to 6ft 5ins and weighing 104kg, Smith is a powerful presence, but as his ability to play on the wing highlights, his top-end pace and evasion skills are impressive too. His defensive game is rated as highly effective, particularly in making reads when shooting out of the line.

The busiest season of the Sydney native’s career so far came in 2012, when he started 15 Super Rugby games for the Brumbies [all at outside centre], scoring four tries.

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Murray Kinsella

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