ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
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 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

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    UPDATE: Toutai Kefu out of surgery following...

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Business opportunity sees Tana Umaga step...

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Springboks will remain top regardless of...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Electric Reinach embarrasses 108kg number eight and runs 80 metres to score stunner

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Quade Cooper stars in lovely Wallabies try with trademark backdoor pass

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Koroibete montage shows what Wallabies will miss after winger's shock exit

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Six minutes of Nick Tompkins highlights will leave fans questioning his lack of Test caps

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 14 HOURS AGO

    Nasty video of pro rugby's 'most brutal' red cards is simply a must watch

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Top 14 brawl spills into dug out as tensions fly during feisty Toulouse vs Castres clash

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Joe Marler's yellow card vs Bath looks worse the more you watch it

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    HEAD LOSS: The time Steyn clobbered Kolbe, saw yellow, then clapped the crowd

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Horror knock out a result of 'inadvisable' body position by 110kg Samoan number eight

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 16 HOURS AGO

    French wingers nearly cough up guaranteed try in Top 14 victory

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Questions remain for rugby in USA in wake of All Black thrashing

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Wasps coaches handed one-week bans after misbehaving on the sidelines

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Re-live Danny Care’s crazy brain fade which sent Martin Johnson into a rage

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Analysis of Dombrandt performance shows unseen work of potential England number eight

View All

Funnies

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Erasmus celebrates Boks win over All Blacks in his UNDERWEAR

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Twenty years on since hilarious All Blacks howler almost gave Argentina famous test win

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Five minutes of Mike Phillips scrum half 'sh*thousery' is comedy gold....mostly

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Five minutes of Faf de Klerk on-pitch shenanigans is pure gold to watch

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Montoya calls All Blacks star a pu**y in hilarious head loss moment

View All

Amateur

  • 51 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 88 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

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

View All

Player Features

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 41 WEEKS AGO

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

  • 42 WEEKS AGO

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

View All