Final results of this week’s rugby.com.au poll show George Smith has been voted the most memorable player of the last British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 12 years ago in 2001.
After one day of the poll being live on rugby.com.au former Qantas Wallabies winger Joe Roff was ahead in the voting percentage, before Smith caught up to tie the scores.
Roff turned the second Test of the 2001 Lions Tour around, scoring an impressive try after intercepting a Jonny Wilkinson pass and bolting down the sideline.
Votes for Smith increased from then on which saw the talented openside flanker surpass Roff to win the poll with 44% of the votes.
Roff came in second at 30% with British & Irish Lions Fullback Jason Robinson at 15% and Martin Johnson, the only man to Captain a Lions team twice, on 11%.
Smith was the youngster of the Qantas Wallabies team to face the Lions in 2001. His performance for Australia against the Lions was so impressive that he was named man of the match in the third and deciding Test in Sydney to secure the Tom Richards Cup.
Both the win and his man of the match award were a fitting gift for his 21st birthday. That same year he was named Australian Test Rugby’s Rookie of the Year and a nominee for the IRB Player of the Year award.
The former Wallabies fetcher holds the record as the youngest player to reach 100 international Test caps. He became the Wallabies most capped forward, surpassing the legendary John Eales, who Captained Australia during the 2001 Lions Tour.
Fans can continue having their say in the poll with this week’s question asking which former Qantas Wallabies player, who starred against the 1989 and 2001 Lions, would you most like to see pull on the Gold Jersey in 2013, George Smith again, George Gregan, Nick Farr-Jones, Michael Lynagh or David Campese? Vote now on rugby.com.au
There’s no doubt next year’s Lions visit to Australia, the first in 12 Years, will create a similar lineup of Rugby legends during the nine match Tour across the country. Don’t miss you chance to be part of Rugby history – click here for all the information on the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour.