Neville Smith (rugby league)

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Neville Smith
Neville Smith 1941.jpg
Captain-coach at 23yrs old
Personal information
Full name Neville Bussey Smith
Born 13 December 1915
Orange, New South Wales
Died 5 August 1997(1997-08-05) (aged 81)
Allawah, New South Wales
Playing information
Position Second row forward
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1936–38 Brisbane Valleys
1939–43 St George 59 15 118 281
Total 59 15 118 0 281
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1938 Queensland 1 0 0 0 0
1940–41 New South Wales 6 6 9 0 36
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1939–43 St George 68 39 4 25 57

Neville Bussey Smith (13 December 1915 – 5 August 1997) was an Australian rugby league footballer of the 1930s and 1940s. A Queensland state representative, Smith became a premiership winning captain-coach with Sydney's St. George club. In seasons 1939 & 1941 he was the NSWRFL premiership's top point scorer.


After moving from Bathurst to Queensland in 1935, Smith played club football in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership for three seasons with Fortitude Valley and represented for the Maroons on two occasions in 1938. In 1939 he returned south to play in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership with the St. George club and was the league's top point-scorer that season.

Smith was first selected to representative honours in the New South Wales rugby league team in 1940 as captain and made six appearances in 1940 & 41. National representative sides did not play during WWII and Smith never represented his country.

At St George in 1939 aged just 23, Neville Smith was appointed the youngest captain-coach in the club's history and in 1941 he led the club to its inaugural premiership. In the Grand Final he was knocked unconscious in a heavy tackle but recovered to score 13 points (1 try and 5 goals). That season, he was again the league's highest point scorer. After winning the 1941 premiership as captain-coach of St. George Dragons, he sat out the 1942 season. Smith returned for a final year as captain-coach of St. George in the 1943 NSWRFL season. He played 59 first grade games for St. George Dragons during his time at the club, and scored a total of 281 points.

Neville Smith (seated 3rd from left) in St. George's 1941 premiership-winning team

External links[edit]

Published sources[edit]

  • Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen (2006) The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney
  • Haddan, Steve (2007) The Finals - 100 Years of National Rugby League Finals, Steve Haddan Publishing, Brisbane