Honour for ex-Lion
Smith to join Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame
Accolade: Tom Smith (pic SNS Group)
Tom Smith, hailed as the “greatest Scotland player of the professional era”, is the latest inductee into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame.
The 50-year-old loose head prop, who won 61 caps for his country, will be welcomed to Murrayfield tomorrow for the induction ceremony ahead of the game against South Africa (kick-off 1pm).
Smith was an instrumental figure in Scotland’s 1999 Five Nations Championship success and played in six successive British & Irish Lions Test matches in 1997-2001 against the Springboks.
Smith, who played his club rugby for Dundee HSFP, Watsonians, Caledonian Reds, Glasgow Caledonians, Brive and Northampton Saints, also captained Scotland during an eight-year international career.
Sir Ian McGeechan, head coach on the 1997 Lions tour and a member of Scottish Rugby’s Hall of Fame panel, said: “Tom is hugely deserving of this accolade. He was every inch the modern prop forward with sublime running and handling skills allied to the traditional strengths that are a pre-requisite for a front-row forward to flourish in the set piece.
“For me he has been the greatest Scotland player of the professional era to date.”
Smith coached at Edinburgh Rugby and in France before two years ago he had to focus on his own health when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
“I feel surprised, humbled and honoured to be inducted in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “Coming to Edinburgh to watch a new generation create their own legacy makes it more special.”
Scottish Rugby Board chairman and Hall of Fame panel chair, John Jeffrey, said: “Tom’s induction into the Hall of Fame is for resounding rugby reasons.
“But it’s also in keeping with our sports values that we salute the human being as well as the champion rugby player and send our very best wishes to Tom and his family.”