Lee Smith (rugby)
|Smith while representing England in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup|
8 August 1986 |
Morley, West Yorkshire, England
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||16 st 10 lb (106 kg) |
|Position||Wing, Fullback, Centre|
|As of 17 October 2012|
|Source: SL Stats|
Lee Smith is an English rugby league and rugby union player who is currently playing for Newcastle Falcons. He has previously played rugby union with the London Wasps in the Guinness Premiership, and played rugby league for Leeds and Wakefield Trinity in the Super League.
Smith attended Bruntcliffe High School in Morley, Leeds. He joined Leeds academy as a teenager and was named Senior Academy Player of the Year in 2003, with the team winning their Grand Final. Smith represented England at U17 and U18 level.
Smith broke into the Leeds first team in 2005 but still captained the Senior Academy team to Grand Final success in 2006 against Hull. Smith made his debut for the Leeds Rhinos first team on 28 March 2005 against Wakefield Trinity. He went on to make 10 appearances in his first season, scoring an impressive 8 tries.
Smith further established himself as a first team player in 2006, making 21 appearances and scoring 9 tries. He was selected in 2006, along with six of his Leeds team mates, to represent England in the Federation Shield tournament. He scored a try in the opening match against France & then scored a last minute try in England's second game against Tonga. He also came off the bench in the third game against Samoa. He then played in the final as England completed their unbeaten tournament with a 32-14 win, again over Tonga.
In 2007 Smith made 21 appearances and scored 8 tries. Most notably the Leeds fourth of five tries in the 33-6 Grand Final victory over St Helens.
He played in 2008 World Club Challenge on 29 February at Elland Road in which Leeds beat Melbourne Storm 11-4. The 2008 season was arguably Smith's best to date, making 25 appearances and scoring a joint career best 13 tries. Leeds again defeated St Helens to win the Grand Final, 24-16. Smith had to deputise at full-back after Brent Webb was ruled out after suffering a recurrence of a back injury sustained earlier in the season. Smith scored Leeds' opening try, making it the second year in a row he had scored in the Grand Final. He was awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy (Man of the Match). Smith was selected for the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament in Australia. Group A's opening match against Papua New Guinea he played on the wing and scored three tries in England's victory. He then only made one further appearance as England endured a disappointing tournament, crashing out in the semi-finals without winning another match.
In 2009 Smith switched from his usual wing position to centre. This did not affect his try scoring record though as he again scored 13 tries, but in just 24 appearances. On 23 June 2009 Smith signed a two-year contract to join Rugby Union side the London Wasps after the Super League season had ended. Leeds won the Grand Final for a record third season in a row & Smith marked, what should have been, his final game for the club with 2 tries in the 18-10 victory over St Helens. This meant Smith had scored in three consecutive Grand Finals. Smith was selected for England again in 2009, for the Four Nations tournament. He scored a try in the victory over France and in the defeat by Australia but then missed out as England went on to lose in the final against Australia.
Smith made just one appearance for the Wasps, in a 9-3 victory against the Newcastle Falcons in the LV Cup on 7 February 2010, before his contract was mutually terminated. It is understood that Smith missing his home, family & friends were the reason behind the termination. After what was one of the shortest code switches in history, Smith signed a three and a half year deal with former club Leeds.
Return to Leeds
Smith was given the number 28 jersey. Smith effectively made his second debut for Leeds on 1 April 2010 against Bradford, scoring 2 tries in a 20-20 draw. Smith went on to make a further 22 appearances in 2010, scoring a further 8 tries. In 2011 he visited and participated in the Wheelchair rugby league at Morley Leisure Centre.
During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Smith's game time was limited due to injury and the emergence of a number of young outside backs at Leeds. As a result, Leeds allowed him to join Wakefield Trinity mid-season in 2012 of which coach Richard Agar was very pleased.
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- "2007 Grand Final". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "2008 Grand Final". BBC Sport. 4 October 2008. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "Purdham earns World Cup call-up". BBC Sport. 7 October 2008. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
- "Lee Smith agrees cross-code switch from Leeds to Wasps". The Guardian. 23 June 2008. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- Neil Barraclough (10 October 2009). "Leeds 18 St Helens 10: Lee Smith changes from Rhino to Wasp with the two tries that help Leeds create Super League history". Daily Mail (Mail Online). Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Lee Smith rejoins Leeds Rhinos after leaving Wasps". BBC Sport. 31 March 2010. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Wakefield sign Lee Smith from Leeds Rhinos". BBC Sport. 5 July 2012. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Martin Richards (1 April 2010). "Rhinos' Lee Smith: I'm no Wasp flop". Daily Star. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Martin Richards (2 April 2010). "Lee Smith is Leeds comeback king". Daily Star. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "Leeds Rhinos star Lee Smith insists he is not a rugby union flop". The Telegraph. 31 March 2010. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Smith tags along to Wheelchair Rugby League Session". Rugby Football League. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Wakefield Wildcats make Lee Smith switch permanent". 20 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Newcastle Falcons: Lee Smith joins from Wakefield Wildcats". BBC Sport. 10 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- Mark Smith (19 March 2014). "Newcastle Falcons' Lee Smith getting to grips with rugby union". Chronicle. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.