The centre told www.leicestertigers.com: "It's an awesome honour, probably one of the biggest in any player's career.
"Saturday was obviously a massive disappointment and I think it would have been quite annoying lying on a beach somewhere over the summer, having to deal with that loss for so long.
"At least now I have the chance to put things right on the field and I'm going to work incredibly hard to make the tour a success."
Smith is looking forward to working with England coach Sir Clive Woodward again and believes the Lions tour is about more than just playing rugby.
"It's fantastic," he said. "Having Geordie (Woodward) around at the club is great, but I'm looking forward to mingling with other players from other countries whilst abroad.
"Rugby is a great game to make loads of new friends and this is a great opportunity to do just that - it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance."