Smith named Brumbies best tenth time
August 11, 2013
George Smith missed the first five matches of the season but still managed to poll enough votes © Getty Images
Veteran flanker George Smith has won the Brett Robinson Medal for best and fairest player at the Brumbies for a record 10th year.
Capping off a remarkable return to Super Rugby, Smith was given a fitting send-off by winning the 2013 award 12 years after he first won it in 2001. Stirling Mortlock won the award in 2002 before Smith won it for eight straight years from 2003-2010.
Smith missed the first five matches of the season yet he still picked up enough votes from the remaining matches to claim the top award voted for by the players.
After 142 appearances for the Brumbies, Smith is now widely regarded as the best player to ever represent the ACT franchise and officials are now looking for more ways to honour one of the greatest openside flankers the game has ever seen.
Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan has told The Canberra Times Smith brought a further dimension on his fairytale return to Australia's capital and he will likely receive a lasting recognition once more was known around a proposed new stadium for the franchise.
''George is, in my opinion, the Brumbies' greatest ever player, our most decorated player. His comeback this year was extraordinary," Fagan said. ''When he first pulled that Brumbies jersey back on, people were wondering whether he'd be able to continue playing at the level that people had become used to and I think he did that plus more.''
In other awards from the night, Wallabies inside centre Christian Leali'ifano won best back for the second year in a row, while skipper Ben Mowen capped his own remarkable year by winning the best forward award.
The Shawn Mackay award for most outstanding new talent went to Tevita Kuridrani, who is one of eight new caps in the Wallabies 30-man squad to face the All Blacks in the opening match of the Rugby Championship next Saturday.
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