Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Monday May 20, 2019

Bristol Bears show how despite having one foot out the door, legend George Smith still played his role

Bristol Bears show how despite having one foot out the door, legend George Smith still played his role

Bristol Bears bade farewell to one of rugby’s modern greats at the weekend, as the 38-year-old George Smith played his final game.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 111-cap Wallaby arrived at Ashton Gate at the beginning of the season, and has helped Pat Lam’s team in their first season back in the Premiership. He made his last appearance in professional rugby against Newcastle, before he moves on to become coach of Japanese outfit Sungatory Goliath.

Smith may have not stolen many headlines this season, but Bristol have been keen to show what a player he has been for the club, particularly off the pitch.

Bristol Bears Academy tweeted recently how Smith continued to work tirelessly in training in his final week as a professional player. They said “Young players trying to be the best they can – Be like George!”

They also described how much he has helped with the academy throughout his year with the club, rightfully calling him a “legend”.

ADVERTISEMENT

While this may not be a lengthy eulogy to one of the greatest players of his generation, it is still an insight into why Smith has remained at the top for so long.

Staggeringly, Smith made his debut for the Wallabies in 2000, which is simply an unprecedented longevity in modern rugby. Despite playing 111 tests, the fact that he has played up until now is remarkable.

Smith effectively retired from international rugby in 2009, although he did come back in 2013 for a Test against the British and Irish Lions. By then, he was already the youngest player to achieve 100 caps, at the age of 29. If he continued to represent his country, there is no doubt that he could have eclipsed Richie McCaw’s caps record. Then again, he probably would not have been able to play until he was 38.

ADVERTISEMENT

Smith has been a standout player for almost every team he has ever played for. In 2015, he joined Wasps, with many unsure how much he would be able to provide. However, he went on to win the Premiership Players’ Player of the Year accolade in his first season, despite being the age of 34.

Although one of the most interesting careers of the professional era is coming to an end, Bristol have given an insight into how much he has been able to contribute to the game for so long, and perhaps why it will be a while before another player has a career so long and varied as his.

Related Articles

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter vs Toulouse is off as a number of...

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Danny Cipriani leaves Gloucester with immediate...

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    'Aphiwe can’t believe it. We were starting...

ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    It's 30 years since France scored that epic 'Try of the Century' from beneath their posts

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Amazing acrobatic skills set up early try in Pro D2 Friday night clash

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Arguably the most insane three minutes of Fijian rugby history

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Jonny Wilkinson's iconic performance that ripped Ireland apart in 2002

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Jamie Roberts turns back the clock with trademark midfield power for well taken try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 10 HOURS AGO

    WATCH: Brutal reaction to eye gouging leads to HUGE ban for Gloucester flanker

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Springbok fans celebrate Liam Williams' game-losing error in 2014

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Huge brawl blows up in dugouts during 1999 Wales Test in Buenos Aires

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Liam Williams suspended despite on field protestations

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Re-live THE Mike Phillips Six Nations try which still angers Irish fans to this day

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Fijian winger cops heavy ban after that referee lifting incident that went viral and blew up his phone

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Vakatawa blows crucial try in terrible blooper, similar to Kunitani in 2014

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Highlights and reaction to Saracens shock defeat to Championship regulars Ealing

View All

Funnies

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Fijian wing who lifted a referee like Lion King now faces a disciplinary hearing

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Referee JP Doyle reacts to hilarious moment red card was dished out after bizarre celebration

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Without doubt one of the funniest red cards in the history of rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Nigel Owens produces comedy gold by forgetting crucial piece of kit during Pro14 clash

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    The VERY BEST examples of when rugby players celebrate too early

View All

Amateur

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The highs and lows of Yoann Huget after he announced his retirement

View All
Bristol Bears show how despite having one foot out the door, legend George Smith still played his role | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos