Alan Smith (rugby union)

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Alan Edward Smith
Date of birth (1942-12-10) 10 December 1942 (age 74)
Place of birth Stratford, New Zealand
Height 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1967-1970  New Zealand 18 (3)

Alan Edward Smith, All Black lock, was born on 10 December 1942, in Stratford, New Zealand. He was born into a farming family in Douglas, a small settlement east of Stratford, and received his secondary education at Stratford Technical College.

Career[edit]

Smith's father, E C Smith, represented Taranaki from 1936–39, and his uncle, John (Jack) Walter, was a 1925 All Black. Coming from such a strong rugby heritage Smith didn't take long to impress, and in 1962 was selected for the Taranaki rugby football team at just 19 years of age. He played for the New Zealand under 23 side which toured Australia in 1963, and first trialled for the All Blacks in 1965. He was selected for the All Blacks for the 1967 tour of Britain and France where he first donned the black jersey. However, due to the dominance of the Meads brothers, and stiff competition from Sam Strahan of Manawatu, Smith couldn't get a look-in for the test matches.

In 1968 Smith was omitted from the All Black team which toured Australia and played France at home, but after a good 1969 trial, and stellar performance leading Taranaki to a 9-9 draw with Wales, Smith was recalled in favour of Strahan. He made his test debut against Wales on 31 May 1969, in Christchurch, and went on to play the second test as well, both of which the All Blacks won resoundingly.

Smith played the first test match of the All Black tour of South Africa in 1970, but missed out on selection for the remaining matches. He played four more games while in South Africa, but these proved to be his last for the All Blacks. In four years Smith played 18 matches for the All Blacks, 3 of which were test matches. He scored 1 try against South African Country in East London.

Smith's 1971 season was plagued by injury, but he managed an appearance for Taranaki against the touring British Lions. This was his last match for Taranaki, retiring after 9 years and 82 games for the "Amber & Blacks".

As well as being a top-level rugby player Smith excelled in cricket. After retiring from rugby he focused on his pace bowling and played for the Taranaki cricket team in the late 1970s. Apart from sport, Smith has carried on the management of the family farm in Douglas where he lives with his wife Christine.

References[edit]