Reginald Alan Smith
- 537Wallaby Number
The tall, brawny son of a Wauchope dairy farmer, Reg Smith typified all that is best in the Australian bush man. Tough and uncompromising when required, Smith was a genuine team player who thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship he found with the Wallabies. Born in Wauchope on the New South Wales mid-North Coast, Smith played rugby league at Wauchope High School but began his rugby career at Hawkesbury Agricultural College. Smith played his first representative rugby in 1969 when selected from Lismore Brothers to play for New South Wales Country against Fiji in Tamworth. The following year Smith shone for Country when they were narrowly beaten 15-18 by Scotland and earned himself a debut for New South Wales against Queensland. Smith moved to Sydney in 1971 and joined Northern Suburbs from where he was chosen to represent Sydney against the touring Springboks.
His performance in the hard fought, 12-21 loss was rewarded with a Test debut at the S.C.G. Amazingly, having played all his rugby in the middle row, Smith was shifted into the front row for the 2nd Test in Brisbane to face South African captain Hannes Marais. While that experiment lasted just 80 minutes he did play a second international at prop when Australia toured Fiji for the first time in 1972. Smith went on to become a permanent member of the Wallaby squad over the following five seasons. He toured France and North America in 1971; New Zealand in 1972, where he played in 11 of the 13 matches including all three Tests; and Wales, England and Italy at the end of 1973.
The pinnacle of his career was arguably when chosen as vice-captain for the Sixth Wallabies tour to Britain and North America. Smith played in all five Tests and was honoured with the captaincy in the uncapped match against South-West Counties at Exeter. He played his final two Tests on the tour to France in 1976 and again captained the side in an uncapped fixture, against Armagnac-Bigorre at Tarbes. Reg Smith played 22 Tests for Australia, the final 14 consecutively, in a six-year international career.
Smith won his first Test cap at lock alongside Stu Gregory in the 1st Test, 11-19 loss to South Africa at the S.C.G. He was switched into the front row, a position he had never before played, with Peter Johnson and Roy Prosser for the 2nd Test, 6-14 loss in Brisbane.
Smith partnered Gregory in the middle row for the two home Tests against France. He then played all three Bledisloe Cup Tests, the 1st and 3rd as a starting lock with Garrick Fay and the 2nd off the bench as a replacement for the injured Greg Davis (Smith moved to lock, Barry Stumbles to No.8 and Dick Cocks to the side of the scrum). Smith found himself back in the front row with Bob Thompson and Roy Prosser for the 22-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.
Smith started all four domestic tests. He and Garrick Fay locked the scrum in the two home wins against England. They also combined for the 1st Test, 37-7 defeat of Japan in Sydney however Bruce Mansfield replaced Fay for the 2nd Test, 50-25 win at Ballymore. Smith scored his first Test try in the 30-21, 2nd Test victory over England in Brisbane.
He played all five Tests on the Sixth Wallabies tour to Britain and North America. He partnered Fay against Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the U.S.A., and David Hillhouse in the loss to England at Twickenham.
In his final season of international rugby Smith was capped in combination with Hillhouse in each of the five Wallaby Tests against Fiji (3) and France (2).