BRITISH LIONS and Scotland legend Tom Smith has died aged 50.
The London-born prop – hailed as the Scots’ greatest player of the professional era’ – passed away after fighting colorectal cancer since 2019.
Smith was in the Lions‘ famous 1997 side that won 2-1 in South Africa after three epic battles and in the 2-1 series losers in Australia three years later.
That made the loosehead the only Scot to play in six Lions’ Tests in a row.
The former Northampton Saints star also won 61 Scotland caps
Smith was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame last year.
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And Lions’ 1997 coach Sir Ian McGeechan described him as the ‘greatest Scotland player of the professional era’.
Lionsrugby.com quote ex-Lions’ assistant boss Jim Telfer as saying: “He was a rugby player first and a prop second.
“He was never compromised when he had the ball in his hands. His skill was the thing I remember with Tom.
“You could play a different kind of game when he was in the team.
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“He could be a link player but was still a solid servant in the scrums and lineouts.
“He was always a very good scrummager – he was the ideal shape because he had the bulk as well.”
Smith became an ambassador for bowel cancer charity 40tude, boosting awareness and funding for research.